STRATFORD’S newly-restored Old Toll House will be opening its doors to visitors this weekend.
The historic landmark will be open tomorrow (Saturday October 28), between 11am and 2pm with free admission, to mark its removal from Historic England’s At Risk Register.
It follows completion of the £450,000 project, led by Stratford Historic Buildings Trust (SHBT), which began in 2016 to bring the Grade I listed building back to its former glory.
Built in 1814, the Old Toll House is a local landmark, but over the last 30 years it had fallen into serious disrepair and was added to Historic England’s register of buildings at risk.
Restoration works have included the installation of a new roof and internal mezzanine floor, two new staircases, new plumbing and electrics, and a new water supply.
One of the biggest parts of the project has been replacing weathered stonework, with more than 300 pieces of new stone required to repair the exterior of the 19th century structure.
Another notable addition is a new toll board on the Clopton Bridge side of the building. The original board was removed when the building ceased to be a toll house, around 1839, and was presumed lost, but traces of the fixings remained.
No images of the original sign survive, but the new one is based on equivalent historic examples. The list of toll charges is accurate as these survive in the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust archives.
The upper levels of the building will be let as office space and the basement area will be used as a public display area, telling the story of the Toll House and the history of the riverside area.
The Toll House project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic England, Stratford District Council, the Architectural Heritage Fund, the Pilgrim Trust and a range of other grant-giving charities.
Visit www.stratfordhbt.co.uk to find out more about Stratford Historic Buildings Trust.