Have you ever been intrigued by this vacant historical building?
PUBLISHED: 16:21 01 March 2019 | UPDATED: 17:33 01 March 2019
A dilapidated listed building in Bury St Edmunds town centre has been bought by a heritage trust that will bring it back into use.
The property, 11 High Baxter Street, was originally part of a terrace – but it has fallen into disrepair and now stands vacant and alone, isolated by two car parks.
The Bury St Edmunds Town Trust is delighted to have purchased the grade II-listed building – at a price of £305,000 – which it plans to restore.
The charity, which helps conserve and bring historic buildings back into use, has been carrying out initial survey work to find out more about the site’s history.
It is believed to date from the 17th century, but some elements, such as timbers, are far earlier than that.
The trust, supported by the Architectural Heritage Fund, is due to start a viability study of potential uses of the building, such as a home or a community asset.
Peter Riddington, chairman of the Bury St Edmunds Town Trust, said: “This is a most exciting project for the town trust who have for many years undertaken similar exercises to rescue unloved historic buildings.
“11 High Baxter Street may be the last medieval house in the town centre needing such treatment and the project of repairing it and bringing it back into viable use is one we wish to share with the town.
“It is imperative that the building can be found a new use to secure its future and we will work with other organisations to explore what possibilities exist. We also intend to provide training and educational opportunities as the project progresses.”
On what is known about the building, project manager Paul Rynsard said it is believed to have contained bedsits and for a long time it had been used as the staff residences for the then Suffolk Hotel in the Buttermarket.
Most of the terraced properties in High Baxter Street were knocked down to make way for the council offices and car park and it is not known why number 11 was left.
Mr Rynsard said as the town has grown in popularity it had become more difficult to purchase properties like this as they were often snapped up by developers.
Other projects the trust have worked on include buildings on Honey Hill, Risbygate Street and Sparhawk Street.
Mr Rynsard said: “Everybody is really excited about it at the trust. It’s fantastic to have got it.
“It’s going to be a great asset now. There are so few now that haven’t been converted and we have got the skill set.”
He said the project would be an opportunity for local students training in building conservation to get involved with.
For more information about the trust, which provides building conservation trade student training and scholarships, see here.