The Bartholomew Room stands in the Market Square at the heart of Eynsham and has been a focal point at every season of the year for centuries, presiding over a calendar that includes Eynsham Morris dance on May Day, Eynsham Artweeks, Eynsham Carnival, Eynsham Flower Festival, Remembrance Sunday and the Christmas lights.
The scene above with a market in the foreground dates from the early 1980s - the old market cross was replaced in February 1991 - but would have changed little in living memory.
Bartholomew Room Refurbishment Project
A condition survey of the building was undertaken in January 2018 which highlighted the need for some essential maintenance and recommended re-arrangement of the kitchen and toilet on the lower floor to allow ease of use for disabled persons. It’s taken time to meet contractors to consider exactly what work is needed (structural survey, asbestos survey etc) and to consider how it might be funded. The building has undergone various one-off maintenance tasks since it was purchased in 1983, however this project will ensure the building stands in good stead for many years to come.
A Project Manager has been appointed to pursue a planning application, draft a Schedule of Works and produce other key documents and reports. The project will cost in the region of £125,000. A Public Works Loan / West Oxfordshire District Council Loan for £100,000 will be sought (our article in issue 41 of the Eynsham News refers) and we will also apply for community grants.
Project Update (1 April 2021)
The project started well with the re-arrangement of the kitchen/toilet on the lower floor and various repairs. Unexpectedly, damp has been discovered on the Upper Flooor - the Project Manager and Council were previously aware of a damp problem on the Lower Floor only. On closer inspection of the guttering (originally thought to be water source) and the roof, problems were found with faulty (very old) roof tiles and a badlyeroded chimney.
The Council has resolved to use the services of an independent Quantity Surveyor to assess the costs of this additional work (for audit and accountability purposes) and pursue replacement of the tiles/roofing felt. We are currently awaiting confirmation from the Ministry of Housing Community and Local Government that the Council is able to borrow the additional money (thereby bringing the project total to c. £200,000) and approval from the Public Works Loan Board for the new loan arrangement. The additional costs will not require an increase in precept/Council Tax.
We are aware that residents would like to make full use of The Square and the scaffolding is impacting on this, however the work will be undertaken as soon as possible. We apologise for the inconvenience caused.
In the meantime, the Council will shortly approve a quote for a wildlife survey of the roof space to be undertaken so that appropriate protection measures can be undertaken.