AN HISTORIC listed building in Kenilworth has been restored to its former glory.
Abbotsford House, one of the first buildings in the country to receive listed status in 1949, dates from the late eighteenth century and was used as a school from the 1840s until 2010.
The grade II* building on Bridge Street had stood empty for a number of years and parts of the structure were close to collapse until Warwick District Council’s conservation team and developers Castle Homes of Warwick teamed-up to save it.
Initial proposals to convert the building into apartments were rejected over fears of potential damage to of the building’s heritage features.
But the developers worked closely with the district council and Historic England to produce a scheme to convert the building into two homes, retaining the building’s grandeur, including the principal rooms, entrance hall, landings, and staircases.
The project, which took five years to complete, has involved specialist craftspeople, council officers, and developers carrying out a careful restoration with conservation the top priority. Historic windows, doors, cornices, fireplaces and external features such as cast iron railings have all been repaired.
Coun Pat Cain, chair of the district council’s Conservation Advisory Forum, said: “Abbotsford House is one of the most important historic buildings in Kenilworth and it’s wonderful that it has been saved for everyone to enjoy.”
Russell Davis from Castle Homes of Warwick added the project had involved “hard work and dedication”.
The Abbotsford House restoration includes the development of new homes at Abbotsford Mews, neighbouring the listed building.