Bishop Percy's House has been standing empty since the Bridgnorth Boys Club left in 2003.
It is undergoing a complete sympathetic renovation being brought back to life and transformed into a tea room on the ground floor and two self contained holiday apartments on the first and second floors.
There will be some photos of the progression of the works updated onto this site at regular intervals and hopefully a completion date around the end of September/ October 2017 with a view to opening soon after.
There will also be provisions on this site to book the holiday apartments and to view tea room menus at a later date.
I hope this gives an insight of what to expect when the house is once again open to the public.
Bishop Percys House originally known as ‘Forsters Folly’ is a historic building located at 52 Cartway Bridgnorth.
It was built in 1580 by Richard Forster and is a grade 1 listed property and was one of the few properties to survive the great fire of Bridgnorth in 1646.
It was the birthplace of Thomas Percy, the Bishop of Dromore and author of ‘Reliques of Ancient English Poetry’
The site has history stemming back to medieval times and the building itself is built around a medieval defensive tower.
The property has been mainly used as commercial premises throughout its life including home to Bridgnorth Boys Club from 1940’s to 2003.
It has remained empty since that date. There are now plans in place to open it to the public as a tea room and holiday appartments.
Built in 1580 by Richard Forster or Forester a wealthy barge owner and shipping merchant. The house was built from oak posts and beams many from old ships with oak framing between the spaces. The panels between the framing being filled with ‘wattle and daub’.
Bishop Percys House was one of the few properties of its type to survive the great fire in April 1646 started by the Royalist garrison of the castle during the civil war.
On the ground floor was a great fireplace but all that remains of that is the original inscription above it which reads:
“EXCEPT THE LORD BVILD THE HOWSE THE LABOVRERS
THERE OF PREVAIL NOT ERECTED BY R FOR*1580
In 1672 it was documented in the Hearth Tax Assessment that the property had seven fireplaces and was occupied by Anthony Nott who had succeeded Richard Forster as its owner.
In 1727 the house became the property of Arthur Lowe Percy a wholesale grocer and tobacconist from Worcester when he married Jane Nott.
He was the father of Thomas Percy who was born in 1729 and went on to become the Bishop of Dromore. It was from here on the house became known as Bishop Percys House.
In the middle of the 1800’s there was a brass and iron foundry at the rear of the property run by Charles Rushton and later by the Barker family. Much of the house was empty, parts of it being used as an iron foundry and parts as a hucksters shop.
In 1865 the house featured in a sale catalogue of the estate of Lord Sudeley stating that the house contained 3 rooms, a Brewhouse, a warehouse and an underground cellarage and was occupied by Mrs Barker. The yard contained a farriers workshop, a brick and tile warehouse and a brick and tile engine house. It was noted that the premises were not in a good state of repair.
In 1909 the house was bought by W H Foster of Apley estates when it had reached such a poor state it was threatened with demolition. In the 1920’s the former foundrty building was used by the Bridgnorth Boy Scouts and in the years prior to World War II was used as a soup kitchen.
In 1945 Major A C Foster of Apley gave the property to the Bridgnorth Boys Club who would occupy the premises to 2003.
For more history of Bishop Percy's House, take a look at the History page