WHEN scaffolding appeared on the
front of an historic building in the town's High Street I
assumed that a team of experts were about to repaint the old
timbers to preserve them for many years to come.
But it turned out
to be more serious that than. I later learned that the front
wall of the building had separated from the rest of the
single bay, three-storey and six-room piece of Nantwich history.
After there being
just scaffolding for several weeks, a hoarding was added.
When I saw a young man painting it I asked what was
happening to the building. He told me it wasn't in danger
but there was a problem with the front aspect. The
scaffolding wasn't to stop the front wall from falling down.
The building in 1961 when it
was a chemists
Picture: Nantwich Museum
I understand that
the project will take around 16 weeks to complete. The aim
is to use as much of the original French oak as possible.
If that sounds a
long time for one task, I have heard that the building needs
other work being done on it. I've contacted Quadriga
and Bridgford's estate agents
for details. Watch this space.
AS its name indicates,
High Street is a very busy thoroughfare with many people
walking along it every day - even in U.K.
lockdowns for the coronavirus pandemic.
Actually, passers-by were
obviously quite safe to pass by as proved by the
seat-cum-planter that was left immediately in front of the
When I was in the street there was a couple of
people using the seat, oblivious to the situation behind
The building was empty but a few weeks earlier it
was where Bridgford's estate agents were in business. I was told that the local staff had
moved to the Crewe office.
Then I did what I
always do when something about old Nantwich comes to my
notice. I contacted historian and Museum volunteer,
Andrew Lamberton, to ask what he knew about the building.
He told me:
property has been an estate agents for some time - 30 years
or more, I would say, off the top of my head.
"It is sad to see it in this state and I hope that it can be
I ASKED him if the
magpie (black-and-white) building had been one of those that
had escaped the Great Fire of Nantwich in 1583, but he
did not survive the great fire because virtually the whole
of High Street was completely destroyed.
if you look at information about listed buildings, it says
it is early 17th Century.
not sure about that because it would have been built in 1584
immediately after the fire like its neighbour.
"I can't see
the plot standing empty for, say, 50 years.
a prime trading position in the middle of the most important
street in the town.
think the reason for giving a later date is the internal
diagonal cross braces which were a feature of 17th Century
The building society's premises in
better days - before the front elevation problem.
Picture by Andrew Lamberton