Historic Bridgnorth building unveiled after conservation works
After six years hidden beneath scaffolding, the conservation work carried out on a key Grade II* building in Bridgnorth has finally been revealed.
No. 48, Mill Street is one of the earliest buildings in Bridgnorth Low Town. Originally built in the 1670s as an unknown wealthy merchant’s house, it has been disused since Ridley’s Seed Merchants moved out.
Following funding from Shropshire Council and English Heritage, the first phase of works have been completed and revealed many interesting features of the building, including: the ghost outlines of the ornate stone carvings (which would have originally adorned the front of the building), original leaded light windows, a rare eighteenth century toilet and very unusual cream roof tiles made with clay from Broseley.
The works were carried out to ensure the building was weather-tight and safe. They included stone repairs to areas previously covered in thick layers of impervious masonry paint, reinstatement of the render to the building followed by re-decoration with breathable and environmentally friendly lime wash and mineral paints. The chimneys were rebuilt using traditional lime mortar, the windows carefully repaired by specialist joiners using the original glass and the roof repaired with tiles sourced to match the existing.
Christian Lea, a Shropshire Council member for Bridgnorth East and Astley Abbots, said:
“I am very pleased to see the conservation work carried out on this historic building. Its preservation has enhanced the general street scene in Mill Street. I’d like to thank all those that have made this possible.”
The Low Town Partnership Grants Scheme was a project jointly funded by English Heritage and Shropshire Council, specifically targeting properties within Bridgnorth Low Town with the aim of the preservation and enhancement of the Conservation Area.
Sarah Lewis, Principal Adviser for Heritage at Risk, English Heritage in the West Midlands said:
“The deteriorated condition of 48, Mill Street had made it a blot on the streetscape in recent years. English Heritage is very pleased that our £95,000 grant has been instrumental in dealing with this. We look forward to the start of phase 2 which will deal with the side elevation and allow the building to be brought back into use once more.”
Local conservation architects Donald Insall Associates led the project with specialist contractor Conservation Building Services from Oswestry as principle contractor.
For more information about the project contact Shropshire Council’s conservation team on 01743 255 657.
English Heritage is the Government’s statutory advisor on the historic environment, providing advice on how best to conserve England’s heritage for the benefit of everyone. While most of England’s heritage is in private hands, English Heritage work with all who come into contact with it – landowners, businesses, planners and developers, national, regional and local government, the Third Sector, local communities and the general public – to help them understand, value, care for and enjoy England’s historic environment.
English Heritage is also entrusted with the custodianship of over 400 sites and monuments which together form the national collection of built and archaeological heritage. These include sites such as Stonehenge and Hadrian’s Wall.
For further information about their work, you can visit www.english-heritage.org.uk