NEWENT’S historic Market House is to be given a much-needed “facelift” thanks to funding secured by the town council.
The prominent Grade II-listed building in the Market Square will be refurbished during the first six months of the year after the council secured funding for the works from central government, through the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB).
The works will ensure the building, which dates back to the 17th century, can continue to be used and admired by locals and visitors alike for many years to come.
The building is currently used as a council-run visitor information centre, which is open to the public for several months of the year.
The authority says that once the refurbishment is finished in June, there will be opportunities to re-open it to local groups and to hold council-based activities there.
Working with Arnold Bartosch Ltd (Chartered Surveyors and Historic Building Consultants) of Cheltenham and Carrek Ltd (Specialist Historic Buildings Contractor) from Bristol, work will commence this month to repair the timber frame.
The refurbishment will also see the “inappropriate” cement-based infill panels replaced with lime render, providing the Market House with a “‘face-lift’ without altering its recognisable appearance”.
The council says the Market House holds “special architectural and historic interest” for the town.
Evidence suggests it was originally built around 1668, and was refurbished in 1864.
It originally served as a butter market for local fayres, and harks back to Newent’s rich history as a prominent market town.
The three-bay building was constructed on heavy timber posts which have stone bases. The first floor is close-studded.
Historians say the lack of decoration to some of the timbers suggests they may be the remnants of an earlier structure.
The windows were replaced in late-medieval style when the building was restored in 1864, and an apsidal-ended south-east room was added.