The lowering of a courtyard at the rear of Boots the Chemist, Mercery
Lane, was monitored during recent refurbishment. A late medieval flint
and mortar boundary was revealed beneath the concrete-paved courtyard,
and was found to be associated with a half-cellar which had been
backfilled with demolition debris yielding seventeenth-century pottery.
The flint wall and had-cellar may well have formed part of a complex
series of outbuildings sited to the rear of properties fronting onto the
important Mercery Lane and High Street intersection.
For all its magnificence, the exterior of Boots is entirely bogus,
constructed early in this century. Nevertheless parts of the upper
floors and roof are clearly of fifteenth-century date with elements of a
double range of crown-post roofs still surviving despite extensive
alterations by many hands.