WORK has started on important refurbishment of The Guildhall in Ludlow.

Scaffolding marks the start of a project costing more than £100,000 at the former court house that is now the home of Ludlow Town Council.

A Ludlow based form of specialists in working on historic buildings has been contracted to do the work.

It is hoped that the project will be completed in time for the main summer tourist season.

“Ludlow Town Council is delighted that local heritage conservation firm Treasure & Son will begin a three-month repair and refurbishment contract on the grade I listed Guildhall,” said Tim Gill, Mayor of Ludlow.

The works include essential repairs to the external and internal lead lined roof gully’s and two lime plaster ceilings, as well as work to improve the fenestration to enable the council to remove three air conducting units.

Ludlow Town Council has worked with Conservation Architect, Philip Belchere from Hook Mason to reduce the costs of the contract whilst ensuring the works would have a significant and positive impact on the life and health of the historic Guildhall.

Funds for the £107,000.00 project are in place.

The Guildhall was originally the Palmers’ Guildhall, a timber aisled hall built in the late 14th Century. The building is still supported by the original timber structure, although TF Pritchard encased the building in brick in c1768.

After the 1768 alterations the building now consists of two storeys and is made up of brick, ashlar plinth and features a plain tile roof.

The window sashes feature ‘Gothick’ glazing in pointed heads which are underneath brick pointed arches and four feature heraldic lights.

There is a parapet with stone coping, a moulded stone cornice and brick modillion.

The doorcase is Gothic in style and features triple shafts and a frieze with quatrefoils which was added in the alterations of 1768.

Inside the Guildhall is mostly the original intact c.14th Century hall with its original roof with slanting cusped queen posts.

The Guildhall was Ludlow Magistrates Court.

There was a raised bench, a witness box and a dock. Framed paintings of the Royal Arms of George II and the Coat of Arms of the Prince of Wales are above the judicial bench.

In 2012 Ludlow Town Council took up residence at the Guildhall, which had been previously leased to the Court Service as a Magistrates Court.