The Shades Inn, Mealcheapen Street, Worcester

This imposing house, almost opposite the Reindeer Inn, was the Shades Inn, but originally, it was the home of the Russell family, one of the principal families of the City. The house has had many interesting associations. Dr William Russell, one of the most eminent of Worcester physicians lived there in the mid-18th century. He figures largely in the correspondence of Dean Swift of Worcester, the nephew of the famous Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral. Dr. Russell's portrait hung in the Board Room of the Worcester Infirmary  until the closure. His descendants adopted the name of Pakington, and became Lords Hampton.

The Russell's did not stay long, for in the second half of the 18th century the great families were moving out of the crowded streets to more salubrious surroundings. The Worcester Herald of 1831, in an advertisement for letting, describes the house thus;

'This house, from its dimensions and central position, is well calculated either as an inn, or the residence of a medical man, Attorney, or any trade requiring room'.

It became a coffee house, then the Shades Tavern, the first city post office, then a bank, and in the 20th century, back again to an inn, using the old name of The Shades.   

It was one of the finest houses in Worcester, and though it has suffered much from the different purposes for which it has been used, the house still has some fine internal fittings, and externally, above the modern tiles on the street level, has good architectural features.