An historic 14th century landmark in Rye is set to undergo urgent repairs.
Rother District Council (RDC) is to consider a recommendation by the authority’s officers to carry out the work on the Landgate Arch.
The council’s cabinet committee will be discussing the proposal at a meeting next Monday (March 12).
The recommendation is that RDC carries out urgent works to the Landgate to the tune of up to £74,000 to be met from the authority’s repairs and renewals earmarked reserves and to include a contribution of at least £7,000 from local stakeholders, including Rye Town Council.
Kenneth Bird, chairman of Rye Fund Steering Group, said: “Following the town council’s decision to underwrite a 10 per cent share of the repair costs, prompt support has already been pledged from the Rye Fund to kick-start the community-funding project, with a £3,000 grant.
“Three years have passed since Thomas Ford and Partners, architects and surveyors, issued their report on the state of the building, concluding that ‘the Landgate is considered to be at risk…. If not addressed soon the structure will continue to decay at an accelerating rate’.”
In his report, which will be presented to RDC’s cabinet committee on Monday, Dr Anthony Leonard, the council’s executive director of business operations, said: “With concern for the future and safety of the monument growing, a group of residents have formed the Friends of the Landgate with the objective of supporting endeavours to safeguard the building and spurring this council as owner of the asset into undertaking remedial works. In order to drive a sustainable solution to the issue, a Landgate Action Group has recently been set up under the inaugural chairmanship of Councillor Lord Ampthill, comprising members from the district council, town council, Rye Conservation Society, Rye Museum and Friends of the Landgate.”
The Landgate was built by the mayor and corporation in around 1340 as part of the town wall fortifications to deter attacks by the French. In 1377 the French attacked again and sacked Rye, burning practically every building in the town. Only a few stone buildings survived. The floors and roofs of the Landgate and towers have now disappeared.