Keep up to date with the latest McCartneys news
Fri 7 April 2017
Phipps & Pritchard with McCartneys Partner, Nick Millinchip is delighted to be favoured with kind instructions from The Worcestershire Building Preservation Trust (WBPT).
The three historic properties are not yet quite finished but will be very soon and all enquiries should be directed to Nick at our Stourport Office on 01299 822060 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime please see below the fascinating background to these painstakingly conserved cottages – this prepared by WBPT themselves:-
The Saving of Weavers Cottages, Kidderminster
For more than a generation a terrace of three cottages on the Horsefair in Kidderminster stood empty and neglected and was considered an eyesore by many in the town. But for the interest of the Kidderminster Civic Society these shabby little buildings may well have been swept away for new development. But, those in the know recognised that these buildings were a unique survivor of a trade in the town that pre-dated the much better known carpet weaving industry.
Research had revealed that the oldest cottage of the group, which dates from the first half of the 1700s, was built as an artisan dwelling with a workshop on the top floor for the weaving of bombazine. Bombazine was dress fabric woven with silk and wool and often dyed black for use in mourning clothes. All three cottages represent some of the earliest surviving houses in the town and still contain original staircases. In February 2000 the three cottages were listed grade II by English Heritage giving them protection from demolition. But, the battle was still on to save them.
By this time the cottages were in a very poor state and the cost of repairing them and bringing them back into use would far exceed their end market value. To lose the cottages at this stage would have been a tragedy for Kidderminster’s heritage, so in 2009, Worcestershire Building Preservation Trust stepped in to find a way of saving them.
Worcestershire Building Preservation Trust is a registered charity, the aims of which are to save buildings of architectural or historic importance that are at risk of being lost. The Trust commissioned conservation architects Rodney Melville and Partners to design a scheme for the cottages to show that they could be sensitively repaired and converted for use as homes for the 21st century. Planning permission and listed building consent were granted and over £1million in grants and loans were raised including £730,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Building contractors Croft Building and Conservation Ltd were chosen by the Trust to implement the scheme and works commenced in February 2016. Roofs were stripped and old tiles salvaged for re-use on no 22, an old chip shop addition was taken down and ugly 20th century render was removed from the front elevation to reveal the original brickwork. Removal of the render revealed an old painted ‘ghost’ sign on the front of no 21- ‘A Wakefield High Class Confectioner’. It is believed the sign dates from sometime after 1911 and it is to be retained as a feature of the cottages. New bathroom and kitchen extensions have been added to the rear, hence preserving the historic plan of the 18th century buildings, including their twisting staircases. There will be parking spaces and garden areas at the rear and side.
Works on site will be completed by the end of March this year. Local estate agents Phipps and Pritchard (01299 822060) will be managing the sale of the properties on behalf of the Trust.
More information about the Worcestershire Building Preservation Trust can be found at www.WBPT.org.uk