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 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 small structure occupying a prominent position on a busy road into the town. After Cox’s business closed in 1997, the former Toll House no longer had a use.
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 interested members of the Stratford Society and offered support and advice initially. The AHF was then able to provide early-stage development grant funding of £17,750 and has made a working capital loan for £70,000 available to the Trust.
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?
Designated among the most important and exceptional 2.5% of our national built heritage, the Toll House is Grade I listed and is on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register. The interior had lost its upper floor. Stratford District Council, which owns the Toll House, had kept it wind and watertight, but under increasing financial pressure, needed to find a way to ensure its sustainable future.
How Was It Saved?
The local civic society, the Stratford Society is concerned with maintaining high environmental and design standards in the town. A few of their members were keen to explore the restoration of the Toll House and a small working party was set up. Ultimately they formed a building preservation trust, Stratford Historic Buildings Trust (SHBT). 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’s persistence and determination to succeed paid off and a potential user was identified. Historic England has been closely involved in the scheme, helping the Trust to minimise costs while conserving historically significant materials.
How Is The Building Used Now?
The restored building will have a new use as office space at ground floor and mezzanine level (accessed by an internal staircase). The basement will house a free community exhibition about the history of the building and the town’s industrial heritage. Escape Arts has been commissioned by Stratford Historic Building Trust to research and gather memories and photographs relating to the Old Toll House to develop this exhibition.
Contact Escape Arts if you have any photos or information to share: email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit facebook page @TheOldSlaughterhouse
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded a Heritage Enterprise grant of £232,400 and Historic England a building repair grant of £182,000 towards the project. The two awards enabled SHBT to start the physical restoration and refurbishment and work is now well underway (January 2017) The AHF has also offered a £70,000 loan towards working capital for the duration of the restoration work, repayable when other funding has been received. The building has been stripped out: the failed roof and internal upper floor structures removed. The historic windows have also been removed for conservation, and the internal brickwork is currently being repaired ready for the new floor and roof joists to be installed.
There are some opportunities for ‘hard hat’ tours, see SHBT website http://www.stratfordhbt.co.uk/news.html
A period of night-time partial road closure will be required to undertake the physical repairs to the stonework in May 2017.