College Street Project WINS Distinction Award 2022

28 November, 2022

USL is proud to have scooped up awards at this year's Ipswich Society Awards.  In partnership with NJ Architects, two recent conservation programmes in Ipswich were praised for their excellence, quality and value to important local landmarks - 4 College Street known as Benet Alfred House and The Old Post Office at No.1 Cornhill, which is now The Botanist.

The Awards were held on Nov 23rd and hosted by the Ipswich Society, in recognition of buildings that have “made a notable contribution to the townscape”.

Michael Whelton, Managing Director of Universal Stone Ltd, who worked with NJ Architects on both projects, said: “The USL team is delighted and proud to be recognised by preservation organisations such as Ipswich Society for the quality of our works and craftsmanship.

“We are passionate about conservation and repairing the historic fabric of important heritage assets, helping to uphold the rich history of the local community.”

The teams breathed new life into 4 College Street, a Grade II former 16th century merchant’s house in the heart of the town. It sits on the Ipswich waterfront and was abandoned four decades ago in 1981.

The property, which was purchased by Ipswich Borough Council, had suffered extensive fire damage after a blaze in 1992, which led to it being placed on the Buildings at Risk Register.

This building is the sole survivor of the medieval street. The beam across the gable bears the date of 1590 and is carved with hops and foliage, so is assumed to have had a long association with the brewing trade.

While the internal walls and timbers have been repaired and restored using heritage-appropriate measures, like lime plaster and lath, externally the building has an eye-catching new colour scheme.

Few structural changes were necessary but the particularly poor condition and lesser significance of the back scullery area justified the creation of a new entrance area and accessible cloakroom.

Exciting future plans are underway for this revitalised local heritage asset in conjunction with upcoming 550th anniversary of Thomas Wolsey birth and turning the building into a new public open space.

On behalf of everyone from USL, we would like to express our appreciation to Ipswich Society and to our team at N J Architects.

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