Dawson of Stamford ‘unrecognisable’ after makeover

Dawson of Stamford has been restored. Shop owner John Dawson is pictured with leader of South Kesteven District Council Bob Adams EMN-150610-111642001
Dawson of Stamford has been restored. Shop owner John Dawson is pictured with leader of South Kesteven District Council Bob Adams EMN-150610-111642001
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One of the oldest buildings in Stamford has been restored to its former glory with the help of a shop front improvement grant from South Kesteven District Council.

Dawson of Stamford’s jewellery and antiques shop in Red Lion Square has been transformed with 160 years of paint blasted off to reveal the Stamford’s famous stone facade as part of a fundamental facelift.

The work, which took seven months, included removing the pink and brown paint to uncover the original stone frontage, repairing stonework and reinstating missing parts after damage was done by the insertion of the modern shop front. The side elevation was rendered to protect the timber structure of the building, which dates from the 1400s, and ancient sash windows were repaired, along with the building’s front parapet.

Shop owner John Dawson, who started his business in 1974 in a building at the bottom of his garden, bought the building in 1989 and traced its roots back to 1480.

He said the result of the revamp means the building is unrecognisable. He said: “People come into the shop specially to compliment us.

“I had been planning to restore the building for years but the availability of a grant from SKDC really speeded it up.”

All that remains is to replace the statue of Mercury, the god of travellers, which once adorned the top of the building. The original statue disappeared from the jettied timber frame building in the late 1800’s to be replaced by an eagle - itself removed during the First World War because of anti-German feeling.

It took John five years to find the right statue but two years ago he bought one at auction and he’s now having a fibre glass version made for the roof.

For the district council its £35,000 grant representing 75 per cent of the costs has been well worth it, believes leader Bob Adams. He said: “I cannot believe what a difference this has made to a building that was in need of attention.”