A Grade II* listed townhouse is being lovingly restored by the Heritage Trust of Lincolnshire. The 18th century building has been on the English Heritage ‘Heritage at Risk’ register for more than 15 years and the project is seen as the last opportunity to save this nationally important building.
William Garfit II (1700-81) founded Lincolnshire’s first private bank in the building in 1754, and it remained in use until 1891 when the bank was relocated to the market place. Since then, the building has been the ‘Lincolnshire Diocesan Home for Fallen Women’, a private house and the offices of various local businesses.
Sadly the building had fallen into disrepair over the years and despite the efforts of local people was at risk of imminent collapse. The project – overseen by main contractor Lindum BMS and architect Anderson and Glenn – will see the extensive refurbishment of the building in order to restore it to its former glory.
The project began onsite in April 2011 and works have included a significant amount of structural repairs to the masonry and timber, along with repairs to the roof and the floor. In addition, the sash windows, panelling and staircases have been carefully restored.
A 1950s single-storey extension has been demolished, which has in turn led to the challenging recreation of a large brick bow. In turn, a new two-storey extension has been constructed to the rear of the development. The new extension features a stunning design that has incorporated hand-made brick, slate and timber windows whilst remaining sympathetic to the existing building.
Landscaping has included the provision of a new access drive, car park and footpaths, whilst the site will also benefit from an attractive garden area.
Mary Anderson, Anderson and Glenn, commented:
“This has been a challenging project, especially as we had to contend with a flooded cellar and rebuild large sections of walling. It has been difficult to organise due to the critical condition of the building and the way in which it has been continually altered over the years.
“What makes this project particularly interesting is the numerous phases of construction that have taken place since the building was originally constructed in the early 18th century. The historic development has seen a mid 18th century extension, a later 18th century alterations and a late 19th century staircase in a Tudorbethan style – and we had to work with all of these different periods and make it blend together.”
In February 2011, the national board of English Heritage Commissioners visited the development at 116 High Street. Simon Thurley, Chief Executive of the organisation, accompanied the commissioners, who are appointed by the government to establish the overall direction of English Heritage.
Baroness Andrews, Chair of the commissioners, commented:
“It is a testimony to the Trust’s endeavour that those who knew the building previously could appreciate immediately the important initial steps that you have taken already to safeguard this fragile piece of Boston’s heritage. We shall look forward to playing our part in the final push to rescue the building and ensure its sustainable future within the community.”
The project is scheduled to be completed in August 2012.
About Heritage Lincolnshire
Heritage Lincolnshire was founded in 1991 and has to date completed 6 projects with the support of key organisations such as the Association of Preservation Trusts, the Architectural Heritage Fund, English Heritage and the Heritage lottery fund – along with local Lincolnshire authorities and other funding bodies.
They are a member organisation of the Association of Preservation Trusts (APT), who provide an invaluable network offering support and advice.
Heritage Lincolnshire aims to be proactive in finding new uses for historic buildings that have fallen out of use or started to suffer from neglect. They promote positive action on heritage at risk as they believe that the conservation and regeneration of the historic environment can bring positive benefits for present and future generations.