Royal Wootton Bassett's 'heroes' pub to be restored

Massive structural damage was caused by the fire at the Cross Keys in Royal Wootton Bassett

Massive structural damage was caused by the fire at the Cross Keys in Royal Wootton Bassett

First published in News

A Royal Wootton Bassett pub used by the bereaved families of repatriated soldiers is to undergo repairs after being gutted by fire last summer.

The roof of the town’s oldest pub, the Cross Keys in the High Street, has been shrouded in scaffolding and tarpaulin since the fire last July.

An application to restore the building, which dates back to 1742, has been submitted to Wiltshire Council.

Enterprise Inns, which owns the pub, has consulted English Heritage and a senior conservation officer to ensure plans to restore the Grade-II listed building meet guidelines.

An Enterprise spokesman said: the firm was pleased the application had been validated and a contractor would be appointed to do the work once planning was approved.

He said: “While it is still too early to confirm any definitive timescales, we are still pleased to have reached this stage so that we can look forward to commencing the reinstatement works.”

The pub became a popular haunt with the families of soldiers repatriated through the town between April 2007 and September 2011, and the news that it is to be restored is welcomed.

Town councillor and former firefighter Chris Wannell said: “I am very pleased to see they’re going to do something because we were extremely worried it would just be left to ruin.

“It will be good to see it back in use on the High Street, especially because during the repatriations it did become so popular ... it will be good for them to come back and have a drink and a bite to eat if they want.”

To find out more about the plans, visit www.wiltshire.gov.uk/planninganddevelopment and search North Wiltshire applications for application number 14/00635/LBC.

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