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National charity warns of threat to historic Grange Court

Redevelopment plans for Leominster’s historic Grange Court are too destructive, according to the Victorian Society. It is strongly objecting to proposals which include the complete internal demolition of the Victorian and Edwardian additions to the building.

Features which would be lost under the current plans include the highly decorative 1850s main staircase, the servant's stair and ornate fireplaces. An Edwardian conservatory which contains a rare collection of medieval stonework, known as a Lapidarium, is also set to be demolished.

Grange Court is Grade II* listed, putting it in the top 7% of buildings of national importance. It incorporates a 17th Century timber framed market hall; a striking and much-loved part of Leominster's heritage.

But that is only part of its history; the hall owes its survival and its present appearance to the work of the Victorians. Rubbing out this important part of the building's history affects the architectural integrity of the site.

'In 1855 Leominster's Market Hall was dismantled, moved and then rebuilt as a Victorian private residence. As a result the building has a unique story to tell, but that story will be lost if current proposals are given approval,' said Kristian Kaminski, Conservation Adviser for the Victorian Society. 'The character of Grange Court is overwhelmingly that of a 19th Century gentlemen's residence, this character must be retained alongside the historic 1633 Market Hall.'

The society is now calling for a rethink and strongly believes it is possible to provide space for prestigious events, office accommodation and community use, without the wholesale destruction of historic interiors.


Wednesday 25 March, 2009

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