Help for Dereham museum
What is thought to be one of the oldest domestic buildings in Norfolk is set for a modest £14,000 makeover. Bishop Bonner's cottage in Dereham is nearly 500 years old and the oldest domestic building in the town.
What is thought to be one of the oldest domestic buildings in Norfolk is set for a modest £14,000 makeover.
Bishop Bonner's cottage in Dereham is nearly 500 years old and the oldest domestic building in the town.
It was built in 1502 and was once Bishop Bonner, Rector of Dereham, who is said to have been the man responsible for burning more than two hundred heretics during the blood thirsty reign of Queen Mary.
It is now a museum but a recent survey has found that a brick wall, recently added to the back of the cottages, has been causing damp to come into the building.
It was also found work needs to be carried out to improve fire protection and repair damaged walls and plaster.
Dereham Town Council, which commissioned the survey work, has agreed a 10 year maintenance plan for the building.
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And to start the work its heritage committee has recommended that the council approve spending £14,000 on the repairs needed.
Philip Duigan, chairman of the heritage committee, said: “Because this is such an old and important building, maintenance needs to be carried out on a regular basis.
“The council has done well to put money aside for this purpose over a number of years and I am very happy with the work the surveyor has done.
“Her skill has meant that we will be able to keep the cottages in a good state of repair well into the future.”
While the building is owned and maintained by the town council it is leased to the Dereham Antiquarians, who run the museum.
Anna High, the surveyor who looked at the cottages, has also been charged with inspecting other historic buildings the town council is responsible for.
She is now putting together a maintenance plan to ensure that they are maintained in a good condition too, Tony Needham, clerk to the town council said.
The Museum closes for the winter at the end of September but will open every Saturday from 2pm until 4.30pm until the end of October.
It will be open October 28, 30 and 31 during half term week.