Award Winning Restoration Project at Ipswich’s Former Merchant House
USL were pleased to work alongside NJ Architects on this award-winning conservation and repair project to Ipswich landmark - 4 College Street, known as the Benet Aldred House. The Risk Register building was in vital need of both extensive interior and external restoration.
A Grade II former 16th century merchant’s house in the heart of the town, sitting 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.
Upon first inspection, the premises was in an extremely poor state with extensive fire damage, much of the interior had been stripped out including interior features such as: doors, fireplaces, stair balusters, the copper; and the rest was left in a smashed mess.
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.
USL’s expert team carried out all works related to the building which included extensive internal and external conservation works, repairs, restoration, and redecoration.
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.
A former "dilapidated eyesore" that has stood empty for more than 40 years has been brought back to life.
“This little building has recently revealed its charm after years of looking shabby and ignored."