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The Boden family have played a significant part in building Chester. In 1748 John Boden is mentioned as a plasterer and bricklayer. In 1754, Edward Boden is recorded as working on the Old Bishop's Palace in Northgate Street as a bricklayer. In 1881 a William Boden, plasterer, aged 76 and a native of Chester was an inmate at the Chester Union Workhouse. Many other Boden's, seemingly related, are recorded in the Freemen Rolls as working in the building trades, whether as plasterer, bricklayer or slater. In 1792 when the Owen Jones payout came to the Bricklayers £203 11s was paid out to the 12 members of that company of which half were Bodens.

There were two architects named "W. M. Boden" - William M. Boden and Walter Miller Boden (of 23 Corn Exchange Chambers, and Saighton), which leads to some confusion. William M. Boden is the "Vernacular Revival" architect, although his work is nowhere near as detailed or inspired as that of Douglas.

Finally, there is a Robert W. Boden.

Curiously there is possibly also a notable poet in the family - John Bowden (note the variant spelling)

Works in Chester


* 1852 - William Boden surveys St Oswald's Parish and declares it to contain 1346 houses;


  • 1868 - City Mission Hall, Princess Street - Ragged school of 1868 designed by Walter M. Boden. The porch was brought in from a building of 1845. The building became a mission hall in the C20th


  • 1890 - 3-7 Upper Bridge Street - W. M. Boden;
  • 1891 - 49 Upper Bridge Street - W. M. Boden;
  • 1894 - Cross Keys - W. M. Boden;
  • 1895 - 21-23 Lower Bridge Street - W. M. Boden;


  • 1913 - 12-14 Northgate street - Robert W. Boden;


  • 1925 - Royal Oak, Boughton - Robert W. Boden;
  • 1929 - Two houses of Circular Drive - Robert W. Boden;

Links & Sources