The Old Toll House, located on Clopton Bridge in Stratford-upon-Avon, was builtjust over 200 years ago in 1814. With its crenelated roofline and gothic windows it is a familiar local landmark and an extremely important Grade I listed building. However, over the last 30 years it has fallen into serious disrepair and has been included on Historic England’s Register of Buildings at Risk.
The restoration project will preserve the historic fabric of the building and provide it with a new use as office space at ground floor and mezzanine level. In addition, the project will include the creation of a free community exhibition about the history of the building in the basement area.
Roger Davis, SHBT trustee said:
‘The Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic England grants are fantastic news and are a huge vote of confidence for the project. Although we still have a way to go, the two awards are really important as they will enable us to meaningfully start work on rescuing the building.’
HLF’s Heritage Enterprise programme is designed to help when the cost of repairing an historic building is so high that restoration simply is not commercially viable. Grants of £100k to £5million bridge the financial gap, funding the vital repairs and conservation work needed to convert derelict, vacant buildings like The Old Toll House, into new, usable commercial spaces that can have a positive impact on local economies.
Reyahn King, Head of HLF West Midlands, said:
‘This project will breathe new life into this distinctive part of Stratford’s heritage. Investment in Heritage Enterprise projects goes well beyond bricks and mortar; it enables financially challenging historic buildings like the Old Toll Houseto become an important part of the economic health of communities by nurturing business and creating jobs. We look forward to seeing the plans develop.’
Sarah Lewis, Principal Adviser, Heritage at Risk Team, Historic England said:
‘Historic England is really pleased to support Stratford Historic Building Trust’s efforts to conserve the Old Toll House and bring it back into beneficial use. This important building is one of our top ten Heritage at Risk priorities in the West Midlands and we are delighted to be part of this project. ’
In addition to the awards from Historic England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, the project has also secured grants from the Architectural Heritage Fund, The Pilgrim Trust and a number of other trusts and charities.