A contract worth £135,300 has been awarded to renovate one of the county’s most iconic buildings, the Old Museum or Black and White House in Hereford’s High Town.

Following a tendering process Herefordshire Council, which owns the iconic 17th-century building, awarded the contract to specialist building conservation firm Splitlath of Hay-on-Wye, which worked on the building’s previous renovation three decades ago.

The company’s managing director John Dimbylow said: “It is a privilege to be working again on Hereford’s most well-known building.

“The last time was a challenge as we were all youngsters but Hereford is a hotbed for superb craftsmen and always has been.”


The planned work to the building, which houses a museum of daily life in Jacobean times, involves repairs to its external oak timbers and wattle-and-daub panels.

“The panels are made of clay, lime, chopped straw and cow dung, but the regulations for handling such materials are now much different than they were in the 90s,” Mr Dimbylow said.

Herefordshire Council said work will begin in July and is scheduled to take 12 months.

“A decision has yet to be made on whether a full closure will be necessary, or if the museum will be able to remain partially open to the public,” its spokesperson said.

The work is unrelated to recent flooding of the building's cellar, which forced it to close over the early May bank holiday weekend.

Splitlath, meanwhile, has just completed a £7.5-million project to restore the 14th-century Charterhouse monastery in Coventry, and is also helping to record and dismantle historic buildings in the way of the new HS2 rail line around Solihull and rebuild them elsewhere.

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