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The Public Weighbridge House dates from the 1700s and is a Grade II listed property located within the Sherborne Conservation Area. It stands to the south and in front of Sherborne Abbey adjacent to Half Moon Street. Here, despite the small size of the building, it provides an important visual element to this part of the Conservation Area where it forms an intrinsic part of the public open space to the front of the Abbey and the streetscene along Half Moon Street. The weighing mechanism dating from before 1850 remains within the structure, but the weighbridge itself was removed for road widening in 1950.

Sherborne Town Council owns this little building which had fallen into disrepair, and commissioned Oriel Architecture to investigate ways in which the building could be repaired and restored to maintain it for future generations. An exercise to assess the condition of the building was carried out in July 2014 and a condition report compiled on behalf of Sherborne Town Council. The report includes a description and brief history of the building, as well as a detailed analysis of the current condition of the brickwork, stone work, and roof of the structure.

It had been agreed with the District Council’s Conservation Officer that the repairs to the stonework and brickwork did not require consent, but applications for listed building consent and planning permission were prepared, submitted and approved for the replacement of the existing concrete roof with a flat rolled lead sheet covered roof.

The works fell into three clear areas: brickwork, stonework & replacement of the roof:

  1. Brickwork: to re-point the wall externally with lime mortar and point open joints internally.
  2. Stonework: to carefully remove existing rusted iron fixings to pilaster slabs and replace with new resin anchored stainless steel studs to anchor brickwork; remove loose section of cement infill to cornice and repair with lime mortar around armatures fixed into stone to provide key for mortar which will be built up in layers and finished in profile to match original along with drip; carefully remove existing poor quality cement patch repairs and replace with lime mortar repairs with panelling lines included; remove cement mortar pointing to perimeter of stone and replace with lime mortar; clean the stone generally and apply a shelter coat matching the colour of the stone.
  3. Roof: Remove existing concrete roof capping and replace with timber roof carrying plywood decking and rolled lead sheet roof covering laid to gentle fall to flush eaves detail. It was considered that this new roof reflected the form of the original roof and visually would be the best option. A projection over the brick and stone cornice could be created thus providing a drip for protection.

The work was carried out by a specialist conservation builder, and the photograph shows the restored building which has been much admired.