PLANS have been submitted for repair works to an iconic and much-loved Tenbury building.

Repairs are needed to the grade II listed building, according to the listed building consent application submitted to Malvern Hills District Council.

The proposed works are to make temporary repairs to and stabilise the roof.

Further works are proposed to replace missing and fractured sections of iron gutter, and to incorporate stirrups to support a temporary snow guard.

The unusual building, built in the 1850s to plans by James Cranston, was originally designed to house a butter and poultry market.

But an inspection report submitted with the application said that observations of the brickwork revealed that inappropriate repointing with a hard cement based mortar has caused damp issues while all the half-truss timbers supporting the roof have distorted excessively, according to the report compiled by Ionic Surveying Consultants, and tension cracking can also be seen in others.

Moss was also seen growing on the roof, while internal staining suggests water is coming through, and several missing sections of guttering were noted.

The report said it is the inspector's opinion that all existing half trusses supporting the roof and other timbers including rafters will need replacement due to the distortion seen.


Despite the repairs needed, the unique building is still very much in use, and is run by Philip Selly of Hilltop Nurseries, who secured the lease two years ago, when he responded to a leaflet put through his letter box.

Since then he has been committed to improving footfall and restoring the popularity of the market. The original Tenbury Market Charter was granted to Sir Roger de Clifford in 1249 by King Henry III, and in 1858 The Philip Baylie Trust purchased land for £100, and The Buttercross was erected by public subscription of £348 in order that "on market days, local residents be allowed the opportunity to sell their agricultural and horticultural produce direct to the public".

Which makes Mr Selly a perfect fit for the Round (in fact it's more oval than round) Market, where a number of small businesses pay a peppercorn rent for a stall, which is run for them by Mr Selly. "It's an investment on my part," he explains. "I have to encourage people to stay here. All small towns are suffering currently.

"When I took it over there were only a couple of traders in there, and today there are five full time inside, with outside pitches also available."

Mr Selly is adamant, however, that stallholders bring something new to the town. "I'm not going to tread on existing traders' toes. We are trying to all work together to keep this up and running."

With some of the work already completed Mr Selly is delighted with the results, and looking forward to the remaining work on the roof and gutters being finished. "This is the only one in the country, and they don't make things like this any more. I am proud to be here."