Progress report on Elizabethan House


Scaffolding will be going up shortly around the city’s Elizabethan House as part of an ambitious programme to bring the 400 year old building back to life.

Four centuries of building material will be carefully stripped back as part of a sensitive and difficult assessment into the condition of the house which has survived the Blitz as well as extensive slum clearances in the 20th century.

The work forms the first part of three phases of the project on the Grade II star listed building on New Street, in the heart of the Barbican.

We plan to restore and reopen the building, which has been closed since 2016 to the public, so that it can play a key part in the Mayflower 400 commemorations and beyond.

Details of the project’s progress are outlined in a delegated decision which authorises a further £1,025,000 for the Elizabethan House to progress the renovation to completion in early summer 2020.

A structural investigation last year found additional voiding and decay within the timbers of the building.

DHV, an architectural design team led by an experienced conservation accredited architect, were appointed in November 2017 to lead the detailed intrusive investigation and subsequent restoration of the house. 

They are carrying out a ‘heritage significance assessment’ which involves a detailed investigation to get the real extent of the deterioration and decay by stripping all internal finishes from the building in stages to record and assess its condition.

This includes all sand and cement renders and severely deteriorated lime plasters. The external slate to the south elevation will need to be removed. This work has listed building consent and is due to start just before Easter – in a few weeks’ time. 

Cabinet Member for Culture Councillor Glenn Jordan said: “This is highly specialised work and is by its nature something that takes time and patience, but we are making great progress.

“This is a special building and we believe its restoration could provide a community, education and leisure facility of significant national standard.”

The events and activities in the house will directly support the Mayflower 400 commemorations and complement the content of The Box’s Mayflower exhibition, the proposed Mayflower heritage trails linking the Barbican/New Street to the city centre and The Box and the existing Mayflower Museum.

A designer will be appointed to develop interpretation proposals for the Elizabethan House and will work closely with a conservation architect to produce planning stage drawings for the restoration.

The Elizabethan House is one of five projects to which we committed £5 million capital funds last February as part of the Mayflower 400 programme.