Grade II-listed Letchworth building at risk

The Cloisters in Letchworth GC has been put on an at risk register

The Cloisters in Letchworth GC has been put on an at risk register - Credit: Archant

An historic building has been put on an ‘at risk’ register.

The Cloisters, a Grade II-listed building in Barrington Road, Letchworth GC, has been added to the English Heritage’s Heritage At Risk Register.

The building, which dates from 1905-7, was commissioned by Quaker Ann Lawrence and was originally an open-air school dedicated to psychology.

In 1940 the building was requisitioned by the British Army.

In 1948, Ms Lawrence gifted it to the Order of Freemasons and it is now home to the North Hertfordshire Masonic Lodge.

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Peter Blacker, chairman of the Lawrence Cloisters Trust, which owns the building, said: “The building is over 100 years old now and is showing signs of decay. Although there are no problems structurally, it is quite expensive to maintain. We hope to work with the Heritage Foundation to secure funds for the maintenance of the building.”

English Heritage architect Malcolm Starr said: “Over time, the huge scale of The Cloisters, with its complex horseshoe plan and projecting wings and turrets, has meant a high level of maintenance is needed and this has become an increasing burden for the owners. Roof repairs are particularly difficult to keep up with.

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“The owners have welcomed our interest in the building and recognise that it is at risk, but are planning a programme of repairs and improvements.

“Identifying the building as being at risk will help to attract much-needed funding and help achieve their goal to secure the future of this nationally-important building.”

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