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Which shops in Sudbury have been affected by the town centre fire?

15:09 07 September 2015

Emergency services at the scene of a fire in Sudbury town centre.

Emergency services at the scene of a fire in Sudbury town centre.

Archant

Several shops in Sudbury town centre were completely destroyed when fire ripped through Friars Street last night while others were forced to remain closed today because of damage.

The worst affected building is the 19th century Goldsmith’s Mansion, which was home to several flats, the Oxfam shop and Celebrities Nails.

The building, which was rebuilt in 1851, was where the fire started. It completely collapsed at around 2am this morning.

Premises on both sides were also affected.

The 15th and 18th century buildings to the left, formerly The Anchor pub, were severely damaged. The Cobblers and Keys shop was the worst affected, adjoining directly on to the nail salon next door, while half of the roof space of Javelin clothing shop was damaged by the fire.

To the right of where Oxfam once stood is the HSBC bank, which occupies the former 19th Century Andrew’s Bazaar and 20th Century Midland Bank buildings.

The 19th Century part of HSBC, which still has features from an earlier 17th Century build, has been severely damaged, with the front and back walls both at risk of collapse.

Shops and homes on the entirety of Friars Street still have no power, with reconnection expected in the evening.

To the back of the fire affected buildings are three shops on Gainsborough Road, who have been forced to remain closed.

The Barber Shop, Coffee House and The Bread Shop were not damaged by the fire, but the rear wall at the back of the HSBC building backs on to their access, meaning they have no safe means of escape and are also without power.

Pizza Express, on Friars Street, is also closed, as it is on the inside of the police cordon.

A spokesman for the Sudbury Society, who was a witness to the blaze on Sunday night, said: “We are devastated at the loss of four or the five historic buildings in the town. They are irreplaceable and collectively formed a skyline at the end of Market Hill which reflects the heritage of the town.

“Having been present at the incident last night, it was astonishing what an incident it was because it drew huge crowds and a collective concern over the loss of these buildings, and suddenly people were aware that these buildings are very valuable to us and form part of the very rich character of Sudbury.

“All the buildings, destroyed or damaged were Grade II listed, and would appear to be 40-44 Friars Street.

“We believe them all to be of timber frame construction and the carcasses built in the fifteenth or sixteenth century, although the facades belie this, with brick or cement rendered frontages.

“The brick fronted building that suffered total dereliction was long known as Mattingly’s – R Mattingly, Gentlemen’s Outfitter, 41-42 Market Hill.

“But the HSBC bank building – a later, early C20th addition and an iconic feature of Sudbury’s Market Hill townscape – is surprisingly not listed. The Sudbury Society will now be taking steps to nominate this for English Heritage to mark as listed.”

The fire is expected to cost the town hundreds of thousands of pounds.

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2 comments

  • We just love Sudbury and regularly visit the town from our home in Southend - mostly on market days. The Oxfam shop has been a favourite haunt for many years and just last Thursday I was there - for the first time I didn't buy anything. I had picked up an old copy of Mary Webb's novel 'Seven for a Secret' as I've always had a soft spot for her writing. I carried it around the shop as I browsed for maybe twenty minutes, and then decided I probably couldn't make time to read it anyway. Reluctantly I put it back on the shelf. Silly though it may sound, I am devastated, not only by the fire and the loss of so many people's homes and possessions, but by the knowledge that the book I almost bought has been destroyed - for the sake of £1.99. My sympathies to all those affected and to all the people of the town I really do love so much.

    Report this comment

    Malcolm John

    Tuesday, September 8, 2015

  • Why do I always feel the people of Sudbury are always being reprimanded over our historic heritage? First the new manager of Sudbury tells us crossly to use places like Gainsborough house etc or lose it and now the chamber of commerce has a go. I think we appreciate Sudbury but the powers that be don't appreciate us. Most of what we see is very visual and we do appreciate it. Not so the planners who have let internal shop alterations to go ahead without intervention removing old beams eg. Burton and WH.Smiths. That had nothing to do with locals but greedy investors. At the moment it is lives that are important in a dangerous scenario like this and should be at the forefront of our thoughts. When the town regality successfully engage with the taxpayers they might be surprised at how much we do love Sudbury and even allow us mere mortals into the town hall we contribute to. So less of the ticking offs and more appreciation and engagement with shared town making decisions which are still in the hands of the medievalsite. Finally love and hugs to all those injured and affected by this tragedy.

    Report this comment

    sue douglas

    Monday, September 7, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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