Work begins to restore former leper hospital in Warwick - The Leamington Observer

Work begins to restore former leper hospital in Warwick

Leamington Editorial 29th Sep, 2023   0

A PROJECT to restore some of Warwick’s most important historic buildings is now underway.

The St Michael’s Place development plans will see the Grade II listed Master’s House and St Michael’s Chapel in Saltisford sensitively and sympathetically converted for residential use.

And contractors have begun ground clearance work and archaeological surveys on the site of the former leper hospital, ahead of the start of building work.

In the past few weeks stone and waste soil has been removed and carefully analysed. This will now make way for geophysical examinations and the installation of test trenches to allow for services to come on site at this historic location.

St Michael’s is a rare surviving example of a leper hospital and has a long history of use documented from the 12th century onwards.

A single-cell stone chapel and a timber-framed building constructed on earlier foundations, known as the Master’s House, are the only surviving structures and date from the 15th century. Both are Grade II listed, have suffered long-term dereliction, and are on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register.

The restoration project is being led and part funded by Warwick District Council in partnership with the West Midlands Historic Buildings Trust.

WDC’s housing spokesperson Coun Paul Wightman said: “I’m delighted to see such a significant heritage and housing project in Warwick now taking shape. Our plans will not only conserve the legacy of these buildings but will also give them a sustainable future.”

Earlier this year the St Michael’s Place project was awarded a £40,000 contribution from Historic England earmarked to facilitate the specialist archaeological investigations on the site, with further funding of £138,838 from players of the National Lottery to support the development of detailed designs and a historic interpretation programme.

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