Work gets underway today to restore the exterior of a historic 16th Century building in the centre of Worcester.
The Grade II Listed Queen Elizabeth House in Trinity Street was built in the 1570s but has been looking increasingly drab in recent years – partly because of the impact of traffic fumes – and is in need of decoration.
Now around £15,000 is to be invested into the restoration of its distinctive Tudor appearance.
Scaffolding will be going up on March 13 and the repair and decoration work is expected to take around five weeks.
Councillor Roger Berry, Cabinet member for Housing and Heritage, said: “I am very pleased to be announcing the restoration of Queen Elizabeth House as we work to ensure Worcester is a heritage city for the 21st century.
“The many historic buildings across our city centre play a major part in Worcester’s unique and appealing environment and it will be good to see Queen Elizabeth House once again looking its best when this work is completed.”
Councillor Lucy Hodgson, the council’s Heritage Champion, said: “Queen Elizabeth House has a fascinating history, but it has not been looking its best for some time.
“It’s great news that this work is going ahead and that this important building will once again be a striking sight for visitors and residents to enjoy in our city centre.”
The building’s name comes from the visit to Worcester in 1575 of Queen Elizabeth I. She is said to have gone up to its gallery to watch a pageant and speak to the public.
At that time it was within the grounds of the medieval Trinity Hospital, but by the 1890s it found itself in the path of a major road widening scheme. To save the building, Worcester City Council took the unusual step of using greased railway tracks to physically move it 30ft across the road. Around a third of the building was left behind when this audacious plan was put into practice.
The new work on the building will include fixing loose areas of render and repairs to the timber framing.
It will also be painted in the original Tudor style, with dark brown timbers and off-white panels. The current stark black and white look was introduced in the Victorian era.
All the repair work is being carried out within the strict guidelines for Listed buildings. The scaffolding will be free-standing and will not be attached to the walls.
Footpaths alongside the building, on Trinity Street and The Trinity, will remain open.
The work will only be to the exterior of the building. It is structurally sound and the interior, used for the last five years as offices and costume storage by arts organisation Worcester Live, is in good condition.