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40 Pride Hill, Shrewsbury

40 Pride Hill, Shrewsbury
  • Client :
    Thorntons PLC
  • Architect :
  • Position :
    Principal and specialist conservation contractor
  • Total Value :
  • Date :

Cbs were invited to tender for a small project at No.40 Pride Hill, Shrewsbury, home to Thorntons the chocolate retailer. The project initially comprised of minor render panel repairs and redecoration, all to be completed ahead of the Christmas retail season. However, as the layers of thick bitumastic paint were peeled back, the true extent of the considerable structural damage to not only the primary medieval frame of this very rare commercial building but also its later 17thC oriel window were revealed. Damp and subsequent deathwatch beetle attack had ravaged principal structural members and left the building in a perilous condition.

Richard Booth, Thorntons property manager immediately drew comparisons to a similar situation at their Exeter premises, where structural problems had led to the shop closing for business. Whilst closure was certainly our preferred option, we are pleased to report the shop traded as normal over the 16 week contract period despite the very significant structural interventions required. Cbs provided a design and build service, collaborating with structural engineer Bob Johnson to devise both traditional and contemporary repair techniques that could be installed without the need for the complete dismantling of the frame and the subsequent shop closure.

In addition to the structural repairs, Cbs engaged buildings archaeologist Richard K Morriss to provide an archaeological report and liaised with the local authority, submitting the necessary listed building consent to undertake, most notably, the removal of 19thC flat roofs and ballusters, a detail which had contributed so significantly to the decay of the historic fabric. The original oriel glazed window openings were reinstated, hemp and lime plaster infill panels were introduced along with a subtle change of colour scheme, moving from black and white to 'dark chocolate & apricot delice!' The decoration of the frame raised an interesting debate. In our view, timber frames are ordinarily best left unpainted, as this building was for many years; however, the local authority, as well as the client felt quite strongly about retaining the black and white scheme, which they saw as a significant part of the buildings character, as well as contributing to the towns famous black and white identity! 

This project encompasses the following services

Church Conservation, St John the Baptist, Kenley Mytton Bridge Wombridge Augustinian Priory Kilpeck Castle, Herefordshire The Cold Bath House, Ludlow, Shropshire War Memorial Alsager St Lawrence’s, Ludlow Wroxeter Roman Town House White Castle, Abergavenny St Peters Church, Stanton Lacy, Shropshire Snailbeach Mines, Shropshire Bowers Yard Lime Kilns ‘Once upon a hill’ Blakemoorgate Hopton Castle, Shropshire. St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland. Attingham Park Northeast Pavillion Richards Castle Stirchley Furnaces Iron Bridge House Brynkinalt Estate, Chirk 40 Pride Hill, Shrewsbury All Saints Church, Grinshill The Church of St John the Baptist, Ruyton XI Towns The Rutland Memorial Fountain, Dublin, Ireland Emo Court, Co. Laoise, Ireland. St Mary’s, Tremadog, Gwynedd. Shrewsbury Railway Station St Govan’s Chapel, Bosherston, Pembs. Flimstone Farmhouse, Castlemartin, Pembs. Old Market Hall, Shrewsbury. The Cross, Oswestry, Shropshire. St Mary’s, Shrewsbury, Shropshire. Wollerton Animal Pound, Wollerton. Sker House, Porthcawl. Chapel of St Thomas, King Williams College, Isle of Man Almshouses, Neath St Pauls Church, Bedford. Manor Farm, Cranage, Cheshire