Historic listed building preserved for generations thanks to council funds

Press ReleaseUpdated: 2 August 2023Planning
Three Rivers District Council Leader, Cllr Sarah Nelmes, standing in front of Basing House, which the black door saw a new lick of paint

The external refurbishment of a historic Rickmansworth building, once home to the founder of Pennsylvania, has been completed.

Basing House, which is located next to the Watersmeet Theatre in Rickmansworth, has seen some of its windows, doors, guttering, and other fixtures that were in a poor state replaced. The £37,000 project has been funded by the building’s owner, Three Rivers District Council.

The windows were found to be badly decayed; some were in such a poor state that they were rattling and became unsafe.

Because the building is Grade II listed, which means it has a high historical interest, the council was very careful to design the revamp works for Basing House to retain its classic appearance.

The works were carried out by local contractor Expert Property Care and the eight-week programme began in May, ending last month.

The present Basing House was built in 1740 and part of the building is said to incorporate part of the house where William Penn, who is the founder of Pennsylvania state in the US, lived. The building was also formerly the headquarters of the district council until 1991.

Today the building houses Batchworth Community Council, the Three Rivers Museum Trust and Rivertech – a local co-working space for start-up businesses and communities.

Deputy Council Leader and the Lead Member for Listed Buildings, Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst, said: “Not only is Basing House historically significant to the town, but it also provides a much-needed space for our communities and a local learning centre for those interested in learning the history of Rickmansworth.

“Although it is best for listed buildings to keep their original materials intact as much as possible, unfortunately in this case the windows and other features were too decayed or in a poor state to be left alone.

“I am, however, very pleased to say that the contractors did a magnificent job in retaining Basing Houses’ classic appearance whilst making it look tidier and more welcoming for visitors, who flock all over from the country and the world to learn more about Rickmansworth and William Penn’s life in the town.”

PHOTO CAPTION 1: Three Rivers District Council Leader, Cllr Sarah Nelmes, at the revamped Basing House.

PHOTO CAPTION 2: A decayed window at Basing House.

PHOTO CAPTION 3: The revamped Basing House. Its doors, windows, guttering, and other features received a new lease of life.