News: Newark Town Hall and Buttermarket Grade I heritage restoration for M&M Asset Management set to complete

Scaffolding has come down from the façade of the Grade I listed Newark Town Hall as a £600,000 restoration programme nears completion. Over the last seven months, a team of specialist contractors and craftsmen have painstakingly repaired and improved decayed sections of stonework, timber, windows and roofs across the Georgian town hall and the Buttermarket behind, as part of a project to protect the buildings for the future.

Buttermarket scaffolding downThe newly unveiled facade of Newark Town Hall

Specialist teams
Powell Williams worked together with highly experienced contractors Skillingtons Stonemasons of Grantham and Stamford-based Messenger Construction, along with Historic England and local authority conservation officers, to draw up a sympathetic and sensitive programme of works, following two years of detailed research and investigation.

Using traditional techniques, masonry works involved repairing or replacing blocks, with locally sourced new stone, which had cracked or shattered due to water ingress and frost over more than 200 years. Stonework has also received surface treatment to stabilise and protect it from the weather, while corroded embedded metalwork has also been replaced.

Stonework features such as the heraldic figures of the Coat of Arms in the pediment (the triangular shape above the four columns) and the Coat of Arms above the Buttermarket entrance have been repaired and repainted. Ornate plasterwork on the underside of the front façade has been repaired and repainted, and nearly 100 windows repaired and re-decorated.

Buttermarket ceiling rose before and after

Buttermarket coat of arms 1 before and after
Examples of before and after the restoration works

On the Buttermarket, sections of the roofs were re-tiled with some timber replaced, to protect both the building itself and the tenant shops and cafes within. Final works are ongoing with works on the lower storeys to be completed by the start of November.

Good conservation
Andy Williams, Powell Williams' project manager for the scheme, said:
"Both the Town Hall, originally built in 1774, and the 1884 Buttermarket were showing the effects of dealing with centuries of British weather, and some past repairs which had now succumbed to the effects of time. Our programme, based on the principles of good conservation, was designed to bring the exteriors back to former glory, limit the loss of historic fabric and protect the building envelope for the future.

"People may be able to appreciate the improvements made to the architectural details such as the coats of arms, although they may be difficult to see from the ground. But most of the work is in quite inaccessible areas and won't really be obvious, which of course is one of the main aims of restoring a Grade I listed building. The team we put together, the consultants, craftsmen and contractors, has done a great job in helping to preserve these beautiful buildings."

Delight at very high standard of work
Cllr David Lloyd, Leader of Newark Town Council added:
"These are two of the most important historic buildings in Newark, of which we are all proud custodians. We have a responsibility to protect and preserve great buildings for future generations, and this programme of works has done just that. We want to thank the project team for their diligence in completing the work to such a high standard and with minimum disruption to the users of the building and the surrounding streets. It's great to see the Town Hall's face all spruced up and welcoming people into the town centre once again."

Powell Williams was appointed to the project, from initial assessment through to completion of works, by M&M Asset Management which manages the upkeep of the building.

Buttermarket coat of arms 2 before and after

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