Friday, February 28, 2014

News: Three Cranes restoration plans submitted

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One of Rotherham's most important buildings could be given a new lease of life and return to its previous use as a public house if recently submitted plans are approved.

The former Three Cranes Inn that occupied a timber framed building dating back to the 15th Century is part of a heritage-led regeneration scheme on Rotherham's High Street. The grade 2* listed building is the only timber framed building to survive in Rotherham town centre. It is on English Heritage's "at risk register" and has been in a state of disrepair for many years.

Now detailed plans have been submitted by local businessman Chris Hamby for a programme of repairs and restoration with the intention to return the end use of the building into it being a public house.

The building is thought to be the oldest domestic building in the town to survive and was probably built as a merchant's town house around 1600. An earlier wing consists of a medieval open hall block that retains evidence for a high status "coved" area at one end, known as a dais, in addition to the remains of a vaulted undercroft beneath.

The plans include careful repair and restoration with a feature made of the remaining dais canopy by removing modern timber framing and part of the flooring to create a double height space. A glass wall will be installed to look onto it from the first floor.

Half of the building was demolished in 1953 and a new shop front is planned in a typical Georgian style on the remaining twin-gabled fa├žade. The exterior of the upper floors is to be covered in a lime render and new roof will be required.

The modern flat roof extension is set to be removed to create a yard at the back of the building.

In 2011, a £750,000 long term capital finance loan from the council to Chris Hamby was approved to facilitate the purchase and subsequent re-development of Nos 17, 19 and 21 High Street along with the listed buildings known as The Three Cranes and the former Georgian Town House and The George Wright Building.

The loan also secured £677,000 of Heritage Lottery Funding (HLF) for additional, much needed works to the listed buildings.

At the end of last year an additional £140,000 was approved by the council in the form of a long term capital finance loan to enable the refurbishment works to be completed at The Three Cranes and former Georgian Town House.

Hamby opened an outlet for ladies and gents footwear, handbags and leather goods at 19 High Street with Sophisticakes upmarket tea room at No. 17. At No. 21, Things That Boys Like has brought men's clothing, gadgets and gifts to Rotherham's High Street.

Plans have also been approved for a comprehensive refurbishment of the Georgian Town House, that now contains the remains of the Italian restaurant at 29A High Street. It was once occupied by the Badger family, a notable family of solicitors and lawyers. A new Victorian shop frontage and Doric door will be installed with the upper floors converted into flats.

Across town, another historic pub has been brought back to life. The Cutler's Arms on Westgate has been refurbished by Rotherham's own Chantry brewery. It is set to open today.

Hamby's website

Images: Tom Austen

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