AN IMPORTANT 444-year-old piece of Bromsgrove history will be restored to its former glory, thanks to a grant of almost a quarter of a million pounds.
Major works have now begun on the iconic Tudor House on New Road to renew the building’s black and white oak frames, plaster panels, windows and roofs.
The Grade II listed building was originally constructed in 1572 on the High Street as a home for its wealthy owner and it later became an inn.
But then, during the railway boom in the mid 19th century, proposals were put forward for New Road to take residents from the town centre to the station and unfortunately, where it was earmarked for was where the much-loved ornate building stood.
That caused uproar among Bromsgrovians and the decision was then taken to dismantle the building, put it in storage and reconstruct it where it is now on New Road.
The £237,000 injection to restore the building and secure its long-term future has come from the Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI), a scheme aimed at protecting and enhancing Bromsgrove’s heritage.
The THI, which will run until 2017, has £1.6million, made of collective funds from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Worcestershire County Council and Bromsgrove District Council.
The grants will be paid in installments as the work, overseen by architect Nick Joyce, is completed.
Mr Joyce described the chance to repair such a well-known building as ‘a privilege’.
“The Tudor House is one of the very first recorded movings of a building for which Bromsgrove was a pioneer in this country, opening the first open air buildings museum at Avoncroft in the 1960s.
“One hundred years earlier the threatened demolition of this building caused such a local furore it was saved and relocated and that now gives us a fascinating insight into the minds of a local populace and the affection they held at this early age for their historic buildings.”
Coun Kit Taylor, portfolio holder for planning and regeneration, said: “We’re pleased to work with the owner of Tudor House as it is a priority building that was at risk.
“Without grant aid it would probably never have been restored because it would never have been economically viable.
“It had fallen into what the experts call the conservation gap – where the cost of repairs to old buildings outstrips their market value.
“That’s where conservation funding comes in and helps protect our heritage.”
The building holds such a place in town’s history that it even features on the Bromsgrove Society’s logo.
John Weston, president of the Bromsgrove Society, said when the building was renovated it would bring even more visitors to the town to see the historic landmark.
He added: “We are very pleased the restorations are going ahead. It is a very, very important building in Bromsgrove.
“It is great it is now being renovated. It has been falling into disrepair for some time. It is one of our greatest landmark buildings which has been much admired over the years and it is absolutely great it is going to be put into good order again.”