A man walking in a high street lined with historic shops. There is coloured bunting strung across the street.
Poole High Street © BCP Council (Catherine Cavanagh)
Poole High Street © BCP Council (Catherine Cavanagh)

The Regeneration of Poole High Street is Making Great Progress

Repairs are planned or under way at a number of historic buildings on Poole High Street as part of the town’s High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ). The projects to repair and revitalise listed buildings will help to boost the town centre’s historic character and support its economy.

Poole town centre has a rich historic character with 35 listed buildings and many locally listed buildings in the Poole HSHAZ area alone.

But several historic properties on the High Street have fallen into disrepair or have been changed unsympathetically, for example through modern shopfronts or poor signage, eroding the character of the area.

Through the HSHAZ scheme, improvements are being made to the physical condition of the High Street to create an attractive environment for residents, visitors, and businesses and to boost civic pride.

Scaplen's Court

Historic England has funded specialist works to the Grade I listed building Scaplen's Court.

Albion Stonemasons have cleaned and re-pointing the late 15th- and early 16th-century internal walls, fireplaces and doorways using lime mortars and specialist conservation materials.

The stonemasons have identified original wall features which will be retained for the public to see, and the team are also restoring and securing an original wattle and daub wall panel. The ceiling and fireplace timbers are being cleaned to remove smoke damage caused by decades of using open fireplaces that warmed the living quarters of this beautiful historic dwelling.

2 High Street

The walls have been re-decorated and windows are being replaced at 2 High Street, which is an 18th-century Grade II listed building. The renovations and new hand-written signage will be more sympathetic to its historic character.

Cinnamon House, 24-26 High Street

The roofs of this pair of 18th-century houses, now shops, have been repaired and gutters and downpipes have been replaced. A new gate to the side passage and handrail have replaced modern materials.

Cornmarket House, 34-36 High Street

Cornmarket House, which dates to around 1830, is undergoing structural repairs. Its shop windows will also be replaced and a new fascia and signage are being installed.

1-3 New Orchard

The renewal of the ground floor interiors of 1-3 New Orchard - a Grade II listed building - is complete, and a new fireplace has been discovered. The shopfront has been redecorated and new signage is complete. Local Carter’s tiles have been revealed on the stall-riser - the part of the shopfront below the show window.

The history and character of Poole High Street is significant and incredibly important to local residents and businesses. It is a joy to see investment on this scale committed to the restoration of important buildings that celebrate Poole's maritime heritage and revitalise its old town charm.

Beverley Dunlop, Portfolio Holder for Culture and Vibrant Places Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole Council

5-9 New Orchard (listed as 50-52A High Street)

The Grade II listed Thai Pantry Café has been re-decorated and new signage pinned in individual lettering over the door.

Public realm improvements

New Purbeck stone paving has been laid linking the two entrances to Poole Museum and Scaplen’s Court.

Historic lighting is a distinctive feature of Poole High Street. Through the HSHAZ, Windsor-style wall lanterns and 50 new lanterns for the lamp-posts have been installed. The lamp-posts have been repainted, the coat of arms of Poole picked out in gold paint.

An exciting cultural programme

Alongside the physical improvements to the town centre, Poole High Street Heritage Action Zone is running an exciting cultural programme offering people who use and visit Poole High Street the opportunity to get involved with its fascinating heritage and culture. A series of workshops and public engagement events are starting soon, including some hosted creative and fact-finding activities and an exhibition of school children’s work with a Discovery Trail event 23 – 31 July. Find out more and book tickets by visiting www.poolehighstreetculture.co.uk.

We’re delighted to see such great progress in Poole. The transformation of these characterful buildings and the public realm will have a hugely positive effect on the town centre, and showcase what good repair and the reinstatement of historic features can do to boost the local area.

Rebecca Barrett, Regional Director Historic England