Grade-II listed Baldock building set for new lease of life after tractor fire

The Maltings.

The Maltings. - Credit: Archant

A Grade-II listed building which was severely damaged by a tractor fire last year is set to be the new headquarters for a Baldock business following a major refurbishment.

The Maltings was hit by a tractor fire in Baldock.

The Maltings was hit by a tractor fire in Baldock. - Credit: Archant

The Maltings – built during the 1820s by John Pryor to supply the nearby brewery he owned on the High Street – was hit by a tractor blaze in August 2014 which forced a large-scale fire brigade operation at the junction of Clothall Road and Whitehorse Street.

Despite the fire and water damage caused to the outside of the building, CHQ architects – which at present is based on the High Street in the town – decided to take on the job of refurbishing the building at a cost of £250,000.

After months of making improvements to the building – along with Letchworth-based contractors Altius GOC – the team will move into their new headquarters by the end of the November.

Barry Harper-Smith, who is managing director at CHQ Architects, said: “We are delighted to be moving into The Maltings building.

The Maltings building after the tractor fire.

The Maltings building after the tractor fire. - Credit: Archant

“Since the tractor fire last summer, CHQ Architects and contractor Altius GOC have worked hard to sympathetically renovate this local landmark, bringing it back into use and restoring part of Baldock’s street scene back to its original glory.

“We have been based in Baldock for more than 30 years, and the move to The Maltings symbolises a new phase for us.

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“The business has grown from a small local practice and we are looking forward to promoting Hertfordshire across the UK from our new home.”

The building functioned as a maltings until 1955, and has also been a chemist, CHQ Architects’ original headquarters, and two separate offices.

Distinctive features include a conical roof denoting its purpose of malting barley for the brewing process – the kiln was also located in this part of the building.

The floor was originally built with heavy ceramic tiles, with a distinctive design of small circles on the top and larger circles underneath, designed to stop grain falling through, as well as preventing sparks from setting the grain alight.