Tuesday, 3 March 2015


After years of planning and over 3 years of construction work the Masters House was finally formally handed back over to Herefordshire County Council last week.

Over the last few weeks – carpenters, electricians, stone masons, plumbers, painters and groundworkers have all been working hard in order to get ready for the opening. The guys have really bought into the importance of the project and it has been really pleasing to see the various trades working together towards a common goal. The last few months have been challenging with limited space and lots of people on site but everybody has worked well together.

It is difficult to articulate how much effort, passion and commitment has gone into the project not only from those directly involved with the design and construction but from the numerous community groups who have freely given up their time to photograph, guide and be part of funding bids to ensure its successful completion.

Indeed the level of community buy-in to the project has been tremendous with the positive feedback received incredible. All the site team and subcontractors have played a part in the work in the community and the promotion of the positive side of the construction industry which unfortunately does not often get shown – indeed the site was privileged to earn a Silver Considerate Constructors Award last year. More importantly the project has generated it own legacy – from the experience earned from the tradesmen on site, the apprentices who have started off their careers through to the volunteers & children who have enjoyed making Wattle & Daub frames.

Ed formally hands over the keys to the Council
The library itself is due to opens its door for the first time on Monday 9th March where visitors can not only take out books but tour the building and follow the 'interpretation' route which guides them through the history of one of Ledbury's important buildings. In a brief video (accessed by clicking on the link) for BBC Hereford & Worcester our Site Manager Ed Mandrell explains the significance of the building fabric.

We hope that when the public get their first look at the building they will be as pleased with the project as we are.

Below are a number of photos of the finished building:

'Books' guide visitors on a journey through history from the laying of the original foundations of St. Katherines in 1231 through to the current restoration
The latest chapter in the Masters House Story

The Historic Panelled Room now restored

A view through a portal back in time - can you find it hidden in the building!

Interpretation markers guide visitors on their journey

Information tablets highlight little details 

Artistic impressions show the dress of the original inhabitants  

Looking West in the Main Hall - The main beam has historic writing that has now been restored

Looking up! The original roof structure is now exposed

The passageway with its short/wide doorway with the modern glasswalk way above

The Non-Fiction Section!

The Kitchen Wing - now housing the main body of the Library

Windows overlook the courtyard in the newly extended section

Tribute is paid to 'Ledbury's' most famous son

Interactive 'Talking Heads' will tell the stories of those who used to live/work in the Masters House

The Master?
The glasswalk - completed with Smart Glass that turns opaque when walked on

Looking down into the main hall
The new community section of the Library

Looking down into the Courtyard

Somewhere to take a breather

The new entrance looking west from the St. Katherines Hall

Looking South over the complex

The engraved Forest of Dean Stone depicits what life was like in the 16th Century

The complete engraving (much better seen in real life!)


  1. Absolutely stunning

  2. We are so luck to have such a wonderful part of our history restored so beautifully.

  3. Fabulous, can't wait to come and use it

  4. Lovely to see some many positive comments on here and other Social Media. All involved in the project are extremely proud of the building. Thanks!