Westgate restoration project brings Tudor building back to life

A 500-year-old timber-framed building is the latest listed building to have been brought back to life thanks to the Cathedral Quarter project.

The 16th century building at 41 Westgate Street has been empty for ten years, and was considered ‘at risk’ until the city council’s Cathedral Quarter High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) provided grant funding to secure its future.

HSHAZ is a £1.9million heritage-led regeneration scheme to preserve and repair the street’s historic buildings and celebrate its heritage with cultural events and activities.

Funded by Historic England and Gloucester City Council the scheme has restored 12 properties, including the Folk of Gloucester and the Grade I listed, Dick Whittington Pub.

The latest restoration, is one of the few ancient buildings in upper Westgate Street to have an original timber-framed frontage, discovered during recent works.

Most timber-framed buildings in Gloucester had fashionable brick facades added in the 18th and 19th centuries, leaving the timber frame hidden behind them. 

The Grade II listed property, which will soon be available to rent, has in the past been used as a tailoring shop, a Severn Salmon Warehouse and a seed merchants. More recently it had been a phone shop.

The HSHAZ works saw the Tudor beams exposed along with the ‘jetty’ (or projecting upper floor) facing onto the street.

They involved careful recording of the timber framed structure using laser scanning, timber dating and archival research with Historic England.

The repairs have used traditional methods including the replacement of rotted sections with new timber, the façade rendered with lime and painted in yellow ochre limewash and the timber shopfront reinstated.

Rebecca Barrett, Regional Director at Historic England, said: “The Cathedral Quarter High Street HSHAZ continues to make brilliant progress - it’s great to see 41 Westgate repaired and its distinctive jettied construction visible again. The building makes a huge contribution to the character of Westgate, and will provide attractive new premises and flats when all the work is complete.”

Councillor Richard Cook, leader of Gloucester City Council, said: “This is one of our city’s most historic streets with over 70 listed buildings. It is a key part of our heritage and restoring these beautiful buildings is important so that they can be enjoyed by future generations as well as supporting local businesses and attracting visitors to our city.” 

HSHAZ is offering grants to property owners to restore traditional shopfronts and signage. For more information or to apply for a grant, visit www.cathedralquartergloucester.uk