AHF Support Summary:
The Support Officer worked closely with the group which became the Stratford Historic Buildings Trust, Stratford District Council and Historic England to develop the ideas for the re-use of the building.
New Use Summary:
The building will be restored for use as offices, with a new mezzanine floor and internal staircase. The basement (which occasionally floods) will be used as a temporary exhibition and interpretation space.
What’s So Special About This Place?
The ten-sided Toll House was built in 1814 and is attached to the fifteenth century Clopton Bridge, a Scheduled Monument. Within 25 years it the levying of a toll had ended and the building and adjacent area, known as Avon Wharf, was bought by James Cox, a timber merchant. The Toll House is most associated with the subsequent 150 years of use as an office within Cox’s Yard. It is an iconic but small structure and after the business closed in 1997, no longer had a use. Designated among the most important and exceptional 2.5% of our national built heritage, it is Grade I listed and is on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register.
Why did the AHF get involved?
In 2012 the AHF, supported by Historic England, appointed regional Support Officers who were tasked with exploring ways to remove buildings at risk from the Register. The Support Officer made contact with the Stratford Society. A small sub-group of the Society wanted to rescue and restore this building, and the AHF was able to provide early stage grants, support and advice.
The Toll House, Clopton Bridge, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire
Stratford Historic Buildings Trust
Find out more at http://www.stratfordhbt.co.uk
Why Was The Building Under Threat?
Unused for almost twenty years and without an obvious use, the interior has lost its upper floor. Stratford District Council, which owns the Toll House, has kept it wind and watertight, but under increasing financial pressure, needed to find a way to ensure its sustainable future.
How Was It Saved?
AHF’s early stage grants enabled the Trust to employ a small team led by a conservation-accredited architect to carry out an Options Appraisal and identify a sustainable new use. Initially things did not look promising, but the Trust has shown persistence and their determination to succeed is paying off.
How Is The Building Used Now?
Work in progress – the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) awarded a first round Heritage Enterprise grant of £10,500 towards the development work, and the Trust awaits the result of their round two application. They have drawn up detailed plans for the project and if successful, work should start in Autumn 2016.