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Royal Wootton Bassett landmark to be repaired
AN URGENT survey of mystery damage to one of the pillars supporting Royal Wootton Bassett’s ancient town hall has been called for.
The town council has arranged for a surveyor to examine damage to the pillar, which faces the road and is part of the Grade II-listed town hall in the High Street.
The cause of the damage is a mystery but it is thought something may have collided with the pillar, or the frosty weather could have caused the stone to crumble.
The historic building was built at the end of the 17th Century and owes its existence to the political ambitions of the Hyde family, the Earls of Clarendon, who presented the building to the town.
The upper floor of the hall was a council chamber built on 15 pillars. The building was extensively restored in 1889 and now it houses a museum.
A council spokesman said: “We are not sure what caused the damage but we have called a building constructor in urgently.
“We are hoping they will be able to come out this week and we can sort it out as soon as possible.”
Town councillor Chris Wannell, a former mayor, said restoration work was scheduled for later this year but he was concerned at the damage.
He said: “I’m passionate about protecting the town hall, it’s an iconic building for the town and we like to look after it.
“It’s a part of our heritage and we need to protect it.
“If something has clipped it, it would not be the first time. When when I was a firefighter in the 90s a lorry caught it and we had to prop it up temporarily.
“The outside pillars do have a coat on them to protect them from the weather.
“What you find is the salt spreaders throw up spray, which can damage them.
“There is significant work to be done this year, including redoing the protective coating on the pillars as well as replacing corners that have worn away.”