16th January 2019
After many months of deliberation, Louth Town Council has voted to put the Cemetery Lodge on the London Road up for sale.
Built in the early 1850s, on an outcrop of chalk, the Victorian building is in need of extensive restoration. After taking detailed advice from structural engineers and architects, councillors agreed that rather than expect ratepayers to foot the bill for what could be a very expensive undertaking it would be better to offer the building to an enthusiast to restore.
“The council does not have the expertise to take on such work”, Community Resources Committee Chairman, Councillor Andrew Leonard explained. “It needs an experienced project manager to oversee the restoration. In this area a number of churches, have undergone very sympathetic restoration and we are confident our gatehouse will be no different.”
Councillor Leonard added: “Sadly whilst we were keen to open up the archway into the cemetery again, the requirements of health and safety have put this beyond what the council can afford. We already have a public works loan to pay for buying the old Sessions House and we could not go any further into debt.”
The building, which is not listed, offers a number of small rooms on three levels leading off a circular stone staircase. It can be extensively and imaginatively remodelled to fit a buyer’s personal requirements, subject to planning permission. It will be sold by tender with the proviso it is not to be demolished. There is parking in the lay-by off the London Road and an area of garden will also be included in the sale.
“If when the tenders come back they are not acceptable we will have the option of not selling the property, “Councillor Leonard summed up. “But there is a lot of interest nationwide in unusual buildings and we do know of other gatehouses which have been very tastefully restored and have become an attractive feature in the townscape.”
Note to Editors:
1. Councillor Leonard can be contacted via the Town Clerk on Louth 355895.
2. The gatehouse was built as a tied house for the Cemetery Superintendent but has not been used for this purpose recently. In the past the Superintendent lived on site to open and close the cemetery each morning and night.
3. In the 1850’s the London Road Cemetery replaced the town’s original graveyard between Bridge Street and St. Mary’s Lane after campaigners, including the painter of the Louth Panorama William Brown, demanded a bigger Cemetery to cope with the increased demand in a rapidly growing town.
Louth Town Council have asked Louth estate agents Masons to advise on marketing the property. They can be contacted on Louth 350500. They will be pleased to supply details of the property and can show prospective purchasers around by prior appointment.