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11 High Baxter Street

Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England

Bury St Edmunds Town Trust

Grade II

Bringing a grade II-listed town house back into residential use

The house on High Baxter Street, located within the historic Town Centre Conservation Area of Bury St Edmunds, is a singular survivor of what was once a whole row of 15th- to 18th-century town houses along High Baxter Street. By the mid-twentieth century, only number eleven remained. Number 11 was bought in the 1970s to be used as staff accommodation by the Suffolk Hotel, but a modernisation covered up much of its historic fabric. By the 2010s, the house was in a very poor state of repair.

Bury St Edmunds Town Trust, a longstanding building preservation trust, purchased the badly dilapidated house in 2019, realising its significance as probably the last remaining unrestored building of medieval origin in the town centre. The Trust has undertaken numerous projects around the town to deliver preservation of heritage buildings for the benefit of the local area and the community. For this project, the Trust worked to bring 11 High Baxter Street back into use, constructing a new brick and timber rear extension to add additional space, and reducing its carbon footprint with the installation of an air-source heat pump and solar panels. Conservation work and traditional craft skills have preserved existing joinery where possible, including windows. Additionally, natural breathable material has been used for insulation, improving the thermal efficiency of the house. Lime plaster and renders have been returned throughout the building.

The 11 High Baxter Street project also offered an opportunity to continue the Trust’s existing partnership with a local Further Education college, delivering on-site opportunities for architecture and construction students. Despite the restrictions during the covid pandemic, the Trust continued to work with the college and held a number of public open days and lectures while works were underway on site. A 2018 Project Viability Grant enabled the Trust to explore the condition of the building and the future options for its use. Through subsequent Heritage Impact Fund loan investment, the Trust was able to undertake the full restoration project. Works to the house were completed in early 2023, and the Trust has now been able to repay the AHF loan investment, putting the house up for sale as a residential property for a lucky future owner.

Bury St Edmunds Town Trust

AHF Funding

Project Viability Grant - £4,076 (2018)

Heritage Impact Fund Loan - £230,000 (2020)

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