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Stratford's oldest house goes up for sale

Masons Court in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Masons Court in Stratford-upon-Avon.

THE historic Mason’s Court in Stratford-upon-Avon town centre has been put up for sale by Stratford Town Trust because it cannot afford the costly restoration it claims it needs.

The 15th century, Grade II*-Listed building - believed to be one of the oldest residential properties in Stratford - is in need of significant repair and restoration work, requiring very considerable expenditure, the Trust has said.

The Stratford Society has backed the decision to put it on the market for a guide price is £275,000.

'Very difficult decision' - Alan Haigh, chairman of Stratford Town Trust.
'Very difficult decision' - Alan Haigh, chairman of Stratford Town Trust.

Alan Haigh, chairman of the Trust, said: “This has been a very difficult decision, one the Board has long-debated, but it has become clear that the level of investment required to protect and preserve Mason’s Court is far greater than the Trust can afford without compromising our grants budget, in particular the support we give to the schools.

"Grant money assists so many members of our community, many of whom rely on our support. It’s a long-standing issue, one we raised at our last AGM. At least a whole year’s discretionary grants budget needs spending on this one property.”

Dr Kevin Bond, chairman of the Stratford Society, said: “We recognise the importance of ensuring the building continues to be properly maintained for the future and that the resources of The Town Trust are limited.

"The conservation officers of the planning authority and English Heritage will be obliged to ensure that the building’s unique historical character is preserved for future generations and the sale of the building will simply transfer this obligation to the new owner.”

Mason’s Court is currently divided into four residential properties, which had been let to tenants by the Trust.

In 2014, the Trust became involved in a costly legal row to evict one of those tenants.

It is now vacant and will be marketed for sale at public auction on Monday, 9th May.

The Trust said as Mason’s Court is an endowed asset, funds raised by the sale must be re-invested by the Guild Estate, with the income generated from that investment going into the charity’s budget for grant-giving.

See next week's Stratford-upon-Avon Herald for more on this story.

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