Login Register

Historic Gloucester building 'at risk'

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: October 12, 2012

Comments (0)

ONE of Gloucester's standout historic sites has been placed on a national register of crumbling buildings.

But its owner and guardians of the city's heritage say work is being done to preserve the Old Judges House in Westgate Street for the future.

The Grade I listed building at number 26 has a Georgian frontage and behind that lies more than 500 years of history.

But English Heritage has added it to its latest at risk register, which has 105 sites in Gloucestershire, because it says it's in "poor" condition.

"It's acknowledged as the finest timber-framed merchant's building in the country," said Phil Moss, of Gloucester Civic Trust, which is in contact with owner John Winfield over building work.

"It has a very complicated history and is quite an incredible building.

"Quite a lot of work has been done on it, including repairing the roof."

Mr Winfield, whose family has owned the former seed shop building since 1896, said he was initially unhappy about the building being on the register.

"My architect tells me it should bring more attention to this important building and it needs to be looked after," he said.

"It was rather a frightening term but I feel more positive about it now, having spoken to English Heritage."

He hopes to find a tenant for the shop floor, which closed as a seed shop in 1989, then was the home of a bookshop until two years ago.

Mr Moss said it was owned by Alderman John Brown and his wife Sarah in the 1560s but its history goes back around 100 years before that.

It joins several Gloucester buildings on the register, including Llanthony Priory, the Tanners Hall, and the Fleece Hotel.

The 13th Century hall at the corner of Hare Lane, Gouda Way and Worcester Street is the city's oldest secular building.

Historians rediscovered it in 1976 during a search through ancient records ahead of the building of the inner relief road. Since the early 90s, when the road was built, its poor condition blighted the area.

Planning permission has been granted to incorporate it in to an innovative flats scheme.

Gloucester City Council is spending £350,000 to rejuvenate The Fleece Hotel, in Westgate Street, so an investor can take it on.

The Grade I listed building has a 12th Century stone undercroft and it is said to be one of the finest in northern Europe.

Read more from Gloucestershire Echo

Do you have something to say? Leave your comment here...

max 4000 characters
  • TheMoanerLisa  |  October 12 2012, 6:00PM

    Perhaps they should of published less images of mr and miss gloucester and added some of the historic building covered in the online version of this article.

    |   2
  • FreeRadical1  |  October 12 2012, 4:58PM

    Is there access to the cathedral grounds to the rear? I never knew that. I have been around the building during a heritage open day, but it isn't included now. What's happening with the Tanners' Hall. I asked the city council about it a few years ago, and they implied that something was about to happen, but it never did.

    |   2
  • geraint2010  |  October 12 2012, 3:22PM

    The lack of any further comments seems to prove you right RoseHill. Nothing new though, such shameful disregard for heritage has been a feature of this city at least since our good burghers decided on demolishing the castle - one of the largest in England - to build the prison!

    |   2
  • DarrenGdub  |  October 12 2012, 3:17PM

    I'm sure they will knock it down and build a new Tesco Express.

    |   2
  • RoseHillWR  |  October 12 2012, 11:46AM

    Geraint2010 - your comments just about sum up what is wrong with Gloucester! It's a dump. The people and the powers that be have absolutely no interest in their heritage so why should anyone else?...

    |   2
  • geraint2010  |  October 12 2012, 11:11AM

    It is to the shame of Gloucester that this fine building is not properly maintained and open to the public - possibly with access from the Cathedral grounds to the rear. It would have pride of place in any other Shire or Marcher town but how many Gloucestrians even know of its existence?

    |   6