Victorian coal house set to be renovated in Woodberry Wetlands
PUBLISHED: 09:00 30 August 2015
©Penny Dixie 2015
A Grade II listed building is being restored to its former glory as a visitor hub for the new Woodberry Wetlands nature reserve.
The early 19th century coal house was once part of a complex that served the Stoke Newington reservoirs.
It was constructed in 1833 to store coal for a nearby boiler house and also to use as a kitchen to serve the New River Company director’s dining hall – both buildings have now been abolished.
The New River fed the reservoirs with fresh water from the chalk farms of Hertforshire – profitable business for the directors.
The coal house has lain disused and inaccessible for many years and was suffering from structural damage.
Now the London Wildlife Trust has received a grant of more than £19,000 from the Association of Industrial Archaeology to renovate the building and save it from further damage.
The funding matches a grant already secured by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Alongside careful repairs, a new roof terrace will be added, providing dramatic views over the reservoirs and its wildlife.
The restored coal house will include a café and will be used as an education and training hub, with signage to help visitors learn about the heritage of the building and its role in the wider site.
The Woodberry Wetlands project will also provide a range of opportunities for people to actively engage with the site, learn about its rich heritage and volunteer to support the valuable wildlife habitats .
Woodberry Wetlands will open in November 2015, with a special public launch and celebration in spring 2016.
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