High Street Heritage project restores historic gems

Two of Gloucester’s historic gems have been given a new lease of life thanks to a £1.9 million scheme helping to preserve Westgate’s heritage.

The Grade I listed, Dick Whittington Pub, has been restored as part of the Cathedral Quarter High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ), backed by Historic England and Gloucester City Council.

The front of the building has been revamped along with repairs to the roof and the creation of first floor function rooms.

The project received a £120,000 grant from HSHAZ and saw ten months of painstaking work to bring the much loved 13th century former family home, brought back to its former glory.  

It follows the reopening of The Folk of Gloucester which was transformed through the scheme preserving the buildings on one of Gloucester’s most important shopping streets.

Managed by Gloucester Civic Trust, the front of the Folk has been restored and decorated in a bright new colour scheme based on colours used in the 16th and 17th centuries.

A new more accessible side entrance was created and the courtyard improved. The work also revealed some previously unknown features including a well and some rare medieval wall paintings.

Councillor Richard Cook, leader of Gloucester City Council, said: “It is fantastic to see what HSHAZ has achieved in helping to preserve Gloucester’s historic and beautiful buildings for present and future and to celebrate the quality and significance. I urge residents to make sure they come and see for themselves the restored Folk and find out more about the history of our unique city.”

Rebecca Barrett, Regional Director at Historic England, said: “The Folk and the Dick Whittington are vitally important to Westgate’s history and its future. We’re delighted that these repairs have been successfully completed, and that people can fully appreciate the beauty of these buildings again.”

Alex Bailey from Gloucester Civic Trust, said: “The support of HSAZ has enabled us to start the restoration of The Folk buildings delivering a stunning frontage to Westgate Street. Behind the limewash the fabric of the frontage has been extensively repaired using original heritage techniques. As well as this we are now ready to welcome all visitors to the building with a level entrance on the ground floor giving access to "The secret garden cafe”. This grant has enabled us to open the building to the public much sooner than we had originally planned.” 

The Dick Whittington Pub is currently empty and the owners Four County Inns are searching for a new tenant for all or part of it and will consider a change of use.

To keep up to date, visit the Cathedral Quarter website https://www.cathedralquartergloucester.uk/