Historic hidden gem undergoes restoration this summer

Butchers Hall old roofThis week work has started on the erection of scaffolding that will envelope the Butchers’ Hall for the next 6 months whilst restoration work is carried out.

The Butchers’ Hall, known to many in the town as the Old Auction Rooms, located next door to the Pannier Market is undergoing repair and restoration as part of the Tavistock Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI). The Grade 2 listed Butchers’ Hall is the first in a series of historically important buildings in Tavistock to undergo conservation work as part of the scheme.

This impressive building was constructed for the Seventh Duke of Bedford in the 1860’s as part of the redevelopment of the centre of Tavistock that also included the Pannier Market, Town Hall, shops on Duke Street and the Police Station. Original plans from the 1860’s clearly show the Butchers’ Hall in the area of ‘new ‘markets’. Indeed, many of the butchers’ tables remain as well as almost all the original features and architecture.

The scaffolding marks the first phase in a restoration that will take an estimated six months to complete. The contractors, A D William Ltd will be restoring the slate roof, repairing doors, windows and louvres, and re-pointing and stonework using traditional methods.

The project is being overseen by Simon Crosbie of Le Page Architects who has extensive experience of working on historically significant buildings including all the buildings in Royal William Yard, Plymouth. Mr Crosbie said:

“This building in the heart of the town will be fully restored to the highest standards to ensure its reuse for the people of Tavistock will be in a space worthy of its history and architecture”

When the work is complete it is envisaged that the Butchers’ Hall will be used as a market space. Wayne Southall, Tavistock Town Council said:

“The aim of this project is to bring this unique publically owned building back into economic use. The Butchers’ Hall will add around 400m2 of commercial retail space to the centre of Tavistock. At the moment we are looking at uses that complement the Pannier Market and that will honour the building’s past as a market building. The THI investment will ensure that this important building can be used to pull in residents and visitors and regenerate the commercial heart of Tavistock”

The restoration is being funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Greater Dartmoor LEAF and Tavistock Town Council.

Sophie Price of Greater Dartmoor LEAF said:

“The Butchers’ Hall is one of the first projects in the country to have been approved in this new RDPE programme and should bring economic benefit and employment opportunities for Tavistock and surrounding rural areas”.

The Butchers’ Hall is the first building to undergo restoration work as part of the Tavistock Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI). Tavistock THI is a partnership of local authorities, businesses and community organisations that aims to restore important historic buildings and public spaces in the town centre - a conservation area and part of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Heritage Landscape UNESCO World Heritage Site.

John Taylor, Chairman of Tavistock Heritage said:

“I am absolutely delighted that works to restore the Butchers’ Hall are now starting as the first phase of our heritage-led THI regeneration programme for the town centre”.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. National Heritage Memorial Fund

Greater Dartmoor LEAF
This project is (part) funded by Greater Dartmoor LEAF with funds from the Rural Development Programme for England – Europe Investing in Rural Areas.

Works to Butchers' Hall