Iconic town museum could be repaired to solve damp issues

A exhibition called Dereham in Peace and War 1914 opened at Bishop Bonner's Cottage Museum during a

A exhibition called Dereham in Peace and War 1914 opened at Bishop Bonner's Cottage Museum during a free family day. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

A town council is hoping to repair one of the town's oldest buildings to resolve recurring damp problems.

The newly renovated Bishop Bonner's cottage in Dereham.Photo: Denise BradleyCopy: Richard ParrFor: E

The newly renovated Bishop Bonner's cottage in Dereham.Photo: Denise BradleyCopy: Richard ParrFor: EDP©Archant Photographic 200901603 772434 - Credit: ©Archant Photographic 2009

Known as one of the most iconic buildings in Dereham, Bishop Bonner's Cottage, on Saint Withburga Lane, is hoping to be restored to its former glory - minus some damp.

Dereham Town Council have applied for permission to repair and restore the Grade II listed building, which is widely known for its thatched roof and lime washed rendered walls.

In the design and access statement submitted to Breckland Council, it said: "The museum is closed during winter months and there are no water or central heating services connected.

"There is little background ventilation and the building generally suffers from cold and damp."

A picture of Bishop Bonner's Cottage in Dereham, taken at some time before 1906. Picture: Supplied b

A picture of Bishop Bonner's Cottage in Dereham, taken at some time before 1906. Picture: Supplied by Peter Wade-Martins - Credit: Archant

The works would include a concrete kerb and channel drain adjacent to the north gable, the removal of cement mortar and stripping modern paint and re-decorating with breathable paint to approved colour scheme.

The applicant also plans to review the condition of the brickwork and do repairs if needed and repair the ground floor ceiling in the ground floor central room.

The applicant said: "Inappropriate repairs with cement materials and the external hardstanding arrangement which allows water to fall toward the building are contributing to the damp issues internally.


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"It is considered that the works will enhance the condition and appearance of this heritage asset which is a landmark building in the town."

(2/2 Copy Pulham) Bishop Bonner's cottage in Dereham. edp 9/5/02

(2/2 Copy Pulham) Bishop Bonner's cottage in Dereham. edp 9/5/02 - Credit: Eastern Daily Press, Archant.

Previous works took place in 2008 to try and improve internal damp.

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Accoring to the design and access statement, this resulted in 'some improvement' however internal damp continues to be a problem.

Paint was also applied to the building to cover previous flaking and graffiti, the colour used has now been labelled inappropriate and will need re-doing.

Originally three cottages, Bishop Bonner's Cottage is the oldest surviving domestic building in Dereham and was preserved during the great town fires of 1581 and 1679 and later when bombs were dropped in 1915.

It takes its name from Bishop Bonner, the Rector of neighbouring St Nicholas's Church during the 1530s.

The building is presently used as Dereham's museum of local history, run by Dereham Heritage Trust.

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