July 29 2014 Latest news:
Friday, April 11, 2014
A historic building classed as ‘at risk’ in 2006 has received two gongs at a prestigious awards ceremony - following an £1.8million restoration project.
The Finchingfield Guildhall was recognised at the event in Downing College, in Cambridge, yesterday (Thursday).
The building, which was closed for seven years while work took place, received a Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) East regional award and the RIBA East Conservation award. It will now be put forward for the shortlist for the RIBA national awards later in the year.
Representatives from the Finchingfield Guildhall Trust, Kay Pilsbury Thomas Architects and the contractor Fairhurst Ward Abbots were at the event to collect the awards.
Trustee Jeremy Toynbee was delighted. He said: “Kay Pilsbury Thomas, our architects, were central to the project, ensuring the building’s history and fabric was fully understood and sensitively restored. We look forward to the RICS East of England Awards on May 8, for which the Guildhall has also been shortlisted.”
Built in about 1470, the Guildhall once played an important part in rural village life, but with little planned repairs and maintenance since the 1950s, and a history of under-occupation of the almshouses since 1959, it became largely unusable and was considered a Building at Risk in 2006.
Major restoration work was needed to transform it and these started in December
The Guildhall has been stripped back to its timber skeleton, repaired and refurbished – and it again stands at the centre of the
Finchingfield community with a village centre library, museum and Guild Room for exhibitions and functions.