Fenland gem is restored to its former splendour

PUBLISHED: 13:51 29 September 2006 | UPDATED: 22:16 28 May 2010

Councillors look over the impressive staircase

Councillors look over the impressive staircase

RESTORATION of a Grade Two listed building, nearing completion, has been described as returning a Chatteris eyesore to one of Fenland s gems . That was the view of town council vice-chairman Councillor Sue Elam, who went on a guided tour of Chatteris Hou

Alan Melton (right) explains some of the preserved architectural details

RESTORATION of a Grade Two listed building, nearing completion, has been described as returning a Chatteris eyesore to "one of Fenland's gems".

That was the view of town council vice-chairman Councillor Sue Elam, who went on a guided tour of Chatteris House on Tuesday.

She said: "On behalf of the town council I would like to thank Ashley King and all the people involved in this project to make one of the eyesores in Chatteris into one of Fenland's gems."

Cllr Elam was joined by a team of Fenland District councillors on Tuesday, where work to turn the derelict building in the High Street into eight apartments, with a further six coach houses behind, is nearing completion.

The tour host was project manager and fellow district councillor Alan Melton, who said: "It has been a unique experience for us all involved, a huge learning curve, but very rewarding."

The party of district councillors, made up of leader Geoff Harper, Ann Carlisle, Peter Murphy, Roger Green, Trevor Quince, Bernard Keane and Ray German, were shown by Cllr Melton the type of work needed to restore the house to what it once was.

Problems encountered along with the solution, such as wiring electricity to every room and supplying drainage through every kitchen, were explained to the party while they were shown what work was needed before completion.

Examples of two apartments, which had been completed on the top floor of the four-storey building, were also looked at so councillors could see how every home will look when finished.

Chatteris House was first built in 1818 by John Friar for his family. Various owners followed before it was turned into a tractor dealership in 1960.

It later became an Indian restaurant and takeaway which closed in 1993 and left to decay before it was damaged by fire five years ago.

But it has been refurbished, using the same methods as used when the house was originally built, with £2.5million pumped into so far by owner, Ashley King.

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