Boston Guildhall: Grade I

Anderson and Glenn produced Conservation and Restoration Plans for this mediaeval-guildhall, which dates from the 1390s. Both documents were used as part of a successful Heritage Lottery Fund bid.

The building contains many interesting early features and has been described by historians as an 'architectural gem'.  It has been owned by the Borough of Boston since the sixteenth-century and it is currently used as a museum and visitor centre. Restoration work on the fabric of the Guildhall started in early 2006. Conservation architect, Mary Anderson, acted as Contract Administrator and  the work was completed at the end of February 2007, within budget and on time. In 2008 it won the East Midlands Region of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors 'Best Project of the Year Award'.

 

During restoration work of the Guildhall essential support scaffold was erected and the building disappeared behind a protective covering. This gave the entire project an air of intriguing mystery.

A very popular series of 'hard-hat' tours took place during 2006. Expertly guided by Conservation architect Mary Anderson, groups of interested members of the public were given a glimpse behind 'the scenes' at the restoration work-in-progress.

   

Removal of the tiles was an essential part of the restoration, this work exposed the late fourteenth-century roof timbers. Specialist Building-Archaeologists have discovered that they date from 1390 and that they were imported from the Baltic.

 

Only about 50% of the original mediaeval tiles were reusable and have been used on the south-slope. Replacement tiles, made by hand in the traditional  manner, have been used on the north slope

 

 

As part of the Project, the historic sink and ovens in the Guildhall Kitchens have been carefully restored by expert stone-conservators.

The kitchen after restoration.

The brickwork throughout the building has been repaired using traditional materials and methods.

 


 

The Banqueting Hall (below) is ready to be used for special events.            

The project was completed on time and within budget. Pictured below is Conservation-Architect, Mary Anderson, with Building Manager Terry Hodson. On behalf of the Borough Council, the Mayor of Boston received back the keys of the Guildhall from the building contractors.

The Cells, in which two of the Pilgrim Fathers were held before their subsequent trial, have been restored to meet modern health and safety standards. The Mayor, complete with 'halo', seemed pleased to try them out by incarcerating Councillor Ernie Napier.

Design Award Winner 2007

 

The built-in-quality of the Boston Guildhall Restoration Project was recognised at the LABC East Midlands Awards Ceremony.  It was judged to be the Best Accessibility Design completed in 2007. Winning this award is an impressive achievement, considering that the building is Listed Grade I and is over 600 years old.

The building is situated next door to Fydell House, another Grade I building, of which the forecourt walls, gates and railings have been restored under the direction of Anderson and Glenn.

Boston Guildhall, circa 1820  

 


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