Persimmon already committed to saving ancient cruck barn
A HOUSING firm is being urged to protect a timber-framed cottage in Bebington thought to be of medieval origin.
Persimmon Homes is currently restoring the building, which stands opposite a listed medieval cruck barn at Vineyard Farm on Poulton Road.
When rendering was removed from the cottage last year two timbered walls were found which appear to date from the same period.
Environmental watchdog the Wirral Society says the building is historically important and told the News it feared it could be demolished if restoration work proved too expensive.
Persimmon denies this and says it is committed to “sensitively” restoring the cottage – but said sections of a gable wall need to be rebuilt to eradicate damp.
Judith Railton of the Wirral Society, said: “We feel it needs to be documented for its historical importance. It is probably contemporary with the cruck barn, which is listed and is well-known.
“I understand that they were going to do some damp-proof coursing but when they took the rendering off they found this, almost as if it had been preserved in aspic.
“It shows so many different building materials from the 1600s. There are so few buildings in Wirral from that period that it must be recorded properly.”
The materials found in the walls included woven twigs and plaster, rushes and lathes and old bricks.
Neil Follows, managing director of Persimmon Homes North West said: “Persimmon Homes owns Vineyard Farm and is currently undertaking a scheme of works at the farm cottage, which is not a listed building.
“We are also proposing a programme of restoration work for the adjacent listed barn, and those works are currently under discussion.
“We have met with Matthew Crook, conservation officer at Wirral Council, and the authority’s building control officer, who advised that the barn’s structure is sound but that work would be required over the course of the next year or so.
“There is no question of the barn being demolished and it is our intention is to ensure that it is restored.
“Timothy Pegg from our Land Department would be delighted to meet with the Wirral Society to discuss any concerns about the site.”
Wirral Council said the cottage had a “degree of protection” because of its close proximity to Grade I listed Vineyard Farm barn.
A spokesman said: “This building is likely to be contemporary with the listed barn and related to it in some way.
“Wirral Council has informed Persimmon Homes of the public interest in the repair of this building, and has sought urgent clarification of their intention to refurbish it.
“We look forward to hearing from Persimmon so that we can move forward with an urgent conservation programme for these important buildings.”