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"Beautiful as it is, Booth Mansion, the imposing former home of George Booth situated on Watergate Street, has never been ideal for us and more importantly for our customers," said Adrian Byrne.

"The historic building is a wonderful setting but storage space is minimal, there are no parking spaces, access is difficult and we operate on three levels connected by stairs."

Former residents of the premises, that include Sotheby’s until 1993, Boothman's until 1998 and Hall’s until 2002, have also bemoaned the costs of conducting a business in Georgian grandeur.

After more than a quarter-century of art and antiques sales (Sotheby's North West first opened in 1980), the final auction in Booth Mansion will be held on Wednesday, March 22. The lease on the premises has been acquired by a neighbouring firm of solicitors.

Pullman House, a refurbished site previously occupied by a soil-sampling laboratory that is a mile and a half from the city centre, will offer additional interior space on one floor (5200 square feet as opposed to the 3000 square feet available at Booth Mansion), parking for 200 cars and extensive frontage onto one of Chester's busiest arterial roads.

The first sale will be on Wednesday, April 12 with general sales of antiques and later effects scheduled every fortnight alongside regular specialist auctions. Byrne's will, however, maintain a city centre presence for select sales of fine art and antiques that will be moved to Chester Racecourse.