A Safety zone was erected around Crewkerne Town Hall yesterday, while four historic roof stones were expertly removed for repairs, by professional stone masons and structural engineers. The stone pinnacles at the front and rear of the historic building in Market Square, were found to be showing signs of cracking and were declared structurally unsafe, when a building survey was carried out, earlier this year.
As a Grade 11 listed building and focal point in the centre of the town, the town hall and upstairs Victoria Hall is an important part of the history of Crewkerne. Built of coursed limestone rubble with Ham Hill stone dressings, a slate roof and various decorative stone stacks, it has previously housed the museum, a reading room and library and retail units and offices.
Crewkerne’s Mayor, Councillor Robin Pailthorpe acknowledged that the structure of the town hall was in need of considerable work over the coming years, in his Annual Budget report. He also stated that the town council were doing everything in their power to keep the building maintained to the highest possible standards and that the safety of members of the public was paramount.
While the town council has acted swiftly to remove four of the five stone pinnacles, it is understood that the fifth central pinnacle, sited above a simulated bell-turret and serving as a keystone to the recessed arch below, will need scaffolding to be erected for its safe removal. All five stone pinnacles are important features and listed, they will need to be replaced at a later date.