Restoration work begins on 500-year-old cottage

Work being carried out to restore the decorative pargeting on the 500-year-old Bishop Bonner's Cotta

Work being carried out to restore the decorative pargeting on the 500-year-old Bishop Bonner's Cottage in Dereham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Conservationists have begun work restoring a 500-year-old cottage in the heart of Norfolk.

Pargeter Anna Kettle at work removing old paint as she restores the decorative pargeting on the 500-

Pargeter Anna Kettle at work removing old paint as she restores the decorative pargeting on the 500-year-old Bishop Bonner's Cottage in Dereham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Works on the pargeting of Dereham’s Bishop Bonner’s Cottage began on Monday and are expected to be complete by the end of next week. 

The pargeting which has been lime washed during the restoration on the 500-year-old Bishop Bonner's

The pargeting which has been lime washed during the restoration on the 500-year-old Bishop Bonner's Cottage in Dereham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

For the first time since 1904, the cottage’s pargeting will be painted completely white in a painstaking process of lime washing and removing the old plastering. 

Work being carried out to restore the decorative pargeting on the 500-year-old Bishop Bonner's Cotta

Work being carried out to restore the decorative pargeting on the 500-year-old Bishop Bonner's Cottage in Dereham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

The cottage’s elaborate plasterwork had gradually become more and more colourful over the last century, but this was not how the cottage would originally have appeared. 

Pargeter Anna Kettle at work removing old paint as she restores the decorative pargeting on the 500-

Pargeter Anna Kettle at work removing old paint as she restores the decorative pargeting on the 500-year-old Bishop Bonner's Cottage in Dereham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

“For several years, we’ve wanted to carry out the restoration work,” said Dereham Heritage trustee Dr Peter Wade-Martins. 

Dr Peter Wade-Martins, Dereham Heritage Trustee, as work is carried out to restore the decorative pa

Dr Peter Wade-Martins, Dereham Heritage Trustee, as work is carried out to restore the decorative pargeting on the 500-year-old Bishop Bonner's Cottage. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

“We had some builders on site last year, and it didn’t go well, so this is really achieving now what we’ve wanted to achieve for years: making the cottage smart and tidy again.”

Old paint is removed as the decorative pargeting is restored on the 500-year-old Bishop Bonner's Cot

Old paint is removed as the decorative pargeting is restored on the 500-year-old Bishop Bonner's Cottage in Dereham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021


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Owned by the town council and managed by the Dereham Heritage Trust, the cottage houses the town’s history museum - which will reopen to visitors in the spring of 2022. 

Part of the decorative pargeting which has been lime washed during the restoration on the 500-year-o

Part of the decorative pargeting which has been lime washed during the restoration on the 500-year-old Bishop Bonner's Cottage in Dereham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Specialist plasterer, Peter Collier, repairs the plaster around the decorative pargeting on the 500-

Specialist plasterer, Peter Collier, repairs the plaster around the decorative pargeting on the 500-year-old Bishop Bonner's Cottage in Dereham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

A picture of Bishop Bonner's Cottage in Dereham, taken at some time before 1906. Picture: Supplied b

A picture of Bishop Bonner's Cottage in Dereham, taken at some time before 1906, which shows the pargetting painted white at that time. - Credit: Supplied by Peter Wade-Martins


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