Loss of historic buildings in town centre blaze is devastating, says Sudbury Society

An aerial view of the aftermath of the Sudbury fire

An aerial view of the aftermath of the Sudbury fire - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Centuries of history may have been lost when several buildings in the centre of Sudbury succumbed to fire damage yesterday and Sunday.

The site of the HSBC building

The site of the HSBC building - Credit: The Sudbury Society

The major blaze struck in the heart of the town disfiguring some structures and destroying others.

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

The fire broke out in the building, which was built in 1776. It completely collapsed at around 2am yesterday morning. Premises on both sides were also affected.

On one side, the centuries-old buildings, formerly The Anchor pub, were severely damaged. The Cobblers and Keys shop was the worst affected, adjoining directly onto the nail salon next door, while half of the roof space of above the Javelin clothing shop was damaged by the fire.

Oxfam shop that was totally devastated in the fire. Former Mattingly’s, Sudbury
c1906. The facade o

Oxfam shop that was totally devastated in the fire. Former Mattinglys, Sudbury c1906. The facade of the shop still survives intact although it has been through a number of changes of occupancy since Mattingly's closed." - Credit: The Sudbury Society

On the other side, 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 building, has been severely damaged, with the front and back walls both at risk of collapsing.

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In the 15th to 16th Century, a pub, called The White Hart, took up the entirety of the site, from the Anchor Pub (Javelin) right up to the bank on the corner.

A spokesman for the Sudbury Society said: “We are devastated at the loss of four or the five historic buildings in the town.

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“They are irreplaceable and collectively formed a skyline at the end of Market Hill which reflects the heritage of the town 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.

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

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