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Medieval building victim of 21st-century driving
9:57am Monday 28th January 2013 in News
ONE of Romsey’s oldest listed buildings was badly damaged when a vehicle ploughed into it.
The hit-and-run incident at No. 3, Middlebridge Street saw ancient timbers smashed and has saddled the owner Robert Davis with an estimated repair bill of more than £20,000.
Mr Davis was in London when he received a call from the police during the early hours of Saturday last week.
“I had a call at about 1am to let me know a vehicle had careered off the road and into the side of the building.”
Mr Davies, a surveyor, said the medieval Grade II listed building, which stands on the corner with Newton Lane, dates back to the 14th century.
“There was a lot of severe structural damage and it left a gaping hole in the wall facing Newton Lane,” he said.
“They must have been going at great speed to snap a large oak beam like a matchstick. It’s going to take months to sort of the repairs out and cost between £20,000 and £25,000 to repair the damage.”
Luckily, the vehicle missed a gas main by half a metre, he added.
Mr Davis, who will be working with Test Valley’s conservation officer during the repairs, said he and builders shored up the damage at the premises, which is home to his chartered surveying business, chiropractor, Alister Miller, and Bellacare.
Two rooms occupied by Mr Miller bore the brunt of the impact .
Mr Davis explained: “We patched up his consulting room and removed his reception office to another room in the building because it was totally unusable.” Police believe a 4x4 was responsible for the damage.
West Hampshire police spokesman, Alan Smith, said: “There were tyre tracks in the snow indicating the damage had been caused by a vehicle. The impact activated the alarm on the premises and left a hole in the fabric of the building. Officers are appealing for witnesses. Anyone with information should phone Romsey police station on 101.”