A building in Wakefield city centre is being restored as part of the High Street Heritage Action Zone scheme by Wakefield Council and Historic England.
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During the work, cement render was removed from 6-8 Silver Street, and the original timber frame was revealed, along with carved posts usually associated with a high-status house.
Scientists are now analysing the timber and building experts from Historic England are looking at the building in detail as it is thought that it may date back far earlier than originally thought – possibly to the 1500s, which would make it the oldest timber framed building in the city.
The discovery could potentially shed new light on the development of early timber framed buildings within the city and regionally.
Heritage Action Zone
The project is part of the £3.8m High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) restoration initiative; a collaboration between Wakefield Council and Historic England offering grants to owners of historic buildings along the high street to repair and revitalise their buildings. Work has started at a further 15 properties and the scheme has made improvements to four of the historic yards leading off Westgate.
“This is such an exciting discovery that has come about thanks to the work that we’re doing to preserve and protect these buildings for future generations. Scientific investigations are under way to date the timbers, and we await the experts’ verdict, but it is possible this fantastic project has revealed the oldest surviving timber building in our city.”Cllr Denise Jeffery, Leader of Wakefield Council
The building is now covered up to preserve the timbers, but before this happened a photomontage (image attached) was created so that people can see what has been exposed.
“It’s fantastic that work to restore the heritage of Westgate High Street has uncovered such an intriguing find. This building is a physical link through time to our past, in an area which is rich in history and significance for local people.
“The aim of the High Streets Heritage Action Zone is to help unlock the potential in Wakefield town centre through repair and improvement work, making it more attractive to residents, businesses, tourists and investors. It is helping to ensure that future generations can continue to benefit from everything that our historic places have to offer.”Richard Butterfield, Historic England
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2 thoughts on “Wakefield heritage properties undergoing restoration”
I worked at the Black Swan in 1979 and was told it was brought over from Holand stone and timber.The owner at the time Mr John Field and wife had a fantastic business and tried to open up the arched windows into the court yard to allow more room.The planning was rejected because it was listed.Then Tippers who bought the pub tried to have a window upstairs out to allow a balcony.This was also not allowed.then all of a sudden they built across the court yard.??? What a waste of a beautiful building.Who allowed this.? Loved the time and memories there.
Whilst welcoming the High Street initiative to make the City more attractive to visitors, the Council needs to urgently tackle the worsening problem of litter everywhere which is blighting the whole district.