The Mill Inn dates back to the 16th Century. Research has shown that it has gone through most significant changes in the last 100 years via internal remodelling and most recently in the 1950s, when the mock Tudor external cladding and leaded casement windows were added. The Inn has continued to function as a public house, and also providing bed and board, since its origins.
Adnams, the Inn’s proprietors, identified that the Inn needed significant internal updating to meet customer’s and tenant’s expectations and needs, and to increase trade and turnover. The Inn has also had to comply with current building and safety regulations, which all possibly could have impacted on the Inn’s historic fabric. Plans included extensive refurbishment by opening up the ground floor trading areas whilst retaining the most significant historic fabric.
The provided Heritage Statement, whilst illustrating the impact of proposals, also made recommendations towards compliance with building regulations that have neutral heritage impact. A recommended solution was using intumescent paint and seals on the internal Victorian doors. This negated the need to provide visually intrusive overhead self closing mechanisms or installing replacement fire doors. Recommendations were approved by the Fire Officer.
The provided Heritage Statement also identified that the opening up of the trading area would, by exposing significant historic material, enhance the heritage of the Inn by increasing visual access, and therefore be of positive impact. Recommendation was made to keep some walls at waist height, which enhanced sight lines and natural light levels yet preserved the historic layout.
By increasing trade, the maintenance of the Inn and sustaining its built heritage is assured. Open Heritage provide support for any sympathetic development or adaptive reuse which is the natural cycle of a building’s life.