Lottery funding for Uckfield cottage restoration

Bridge cottage, Uckfield
Bridge cottage, Uckfield

Bridge Cottage in Uckfield could soon be back to its former glory after a restoration project won Heritage Lottery Fund development funding of £23,300.

The Uckfield & District Preservation Society (UDPS) has received initial support and detailed proposals will now be considered by HLF at second-round for the full grant.

As long as plans have progressed satisfactorily and according to the original proposal, an award for the project is then confirmed.

The project aims to refurbish and reconfigure this iconic, timber framed building.

Once completed the building will look much like it did in the 1600s, however, it will benefit from the inclusion of discreet modern upgrades.

The project will take about 12 months to complete but will enable the building to host a wide range of community heritage activities right in the centre of Uckfield.

The aim is to make Bridge Cottage a usable and sustainable building that can be used as a centre for community heritage activities.

These activities will include those that utilise the Society’s collection of historic local maps, pictures and documents as well as exhibitions, local history talks, small concerts and fairs.

It will be an historic meeting place that will allow the growing population of Uckfield to appreciate their local heritage.

Much of the refurbishment work will need to be undertaken by experts and the development stage funding will help to finalise what needs to be done and the associated costs.

Once the main refurbishment work is completed, the Heritage Centre will need a range of volunteers to help deliver a range of heritage activities.

Bridge Cottage is a Grade II listed timber framed Wealden hall house built in 1436 at an important river crossing in the centre of Uckfield.

It is a unique example of this type of building, being both in public ownership and so complete, including medieval soot on the walls.

Saved from demolition in 1983 through a public fundraising campaign, the building has since then been used by the local community for craft, artistic and historic activities, albeit limited to the ground floor due to limited fire escapes.

Mick Harker, chairman of the Bridge Cottage committee, said: “We’re delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support.

“Bridge Cottage is a wonderful building right in the centre of the town and our plans will enable it to play an important heritage role in the town for the next few hundred years.”