History of The Coach House.
The Coach House is a remarkable and rare building in Goole’s conservation area. It began life in 1824 when the Lowther Hotel, the very first building to be constructed in Goole, opened its doors to guests from all over Britain. Visitors in the 1800’s would have travelled to Goole by coach pulled by horses and arrived at the front of the Hotel. The coach would then be taken down a slope to the courtyard (The Coach House courtyard is still very much intact and thought to be the only survivor of its kind in the North of England) to a ‘locked and covered coach house’, which was certainly very unusual as well as luxurious in 1824. Being the first building in Goole most things started from the Hotel including Goole’s first school, held on the first floor of the coach house; it was even adapted as a morgue in case someone inadvertently fell into the dock.
On 9th August 1915 Goole suffered a series of Zeppelin bombings resulting in over 30 deaths. All the windows of the Lowther Hotel were blown out. Cottages at the back of the hotel were significantly damaged along with the coach house which became twisted and left to rack and ruin. Over the next 100 years it was used as a store room and shed. Into the 1960s it was torched by vandals, this happened again in the 1980s, leaving the building to deteriorate even further and become derelict.
Restoring The Coach House.
Towards the end of summer 2016 a windstorm blew many of the slates from the roof. This brought down the ceiling and what looked like two tons of pigeon droppings, if not more. After clearing up the mess and repairing the roof it was found that the roof trusses were not as bad as initially believed. After almost 200 years, zeppelin attacks, two fires and years of neglect, it still had potential. We came up with the idea to restore the building and create a bespoke bar, something new that would give residents and visitors to Goole a modern offer in a period character building. A small team was brought in to investigate and establish if the vision was possible. It was, and for the first time in years the old windows were opened and plans began to be put into action.
To bring it back to life, the roof trusses were exposed, the whole roof insulated to full new building regulations, the floor entirely re-built and the whole ceiling fire proofed allowing the burnt and exposed wood to be left in situ. All the bricks on all the walls were hand cleaned, central heating fitted and York paving installed on the ground floor. The entrance from Adam Street was full of woodworm and couldn’t be repaired, so it was rebuilt using stained glass windows recycled from elsewhere on Aire Street, giving it a genuine, authentic appearance in what is Goole’s conservation area. All the rotten wood was trimmed, treated and reused to make the bar and solid ash recycled timber to make tables. The original coach house door has been saved and made a feature; it does not open, but looks great and adds even more character to the building.
The Coach House fits perfectly within its environment as a fully restored building, nestled within Goole’s conservation area in the oldest street in the town. Set across two storeys the conversion offers those who visit a stylish surrounding for a contemporary evening. Its original character is a feature with exposed beams and brickwork whilst its restoration has created another unique establishment to add to the Aire Street Collection.
The restoration is also 100% eco-friendly, the building was derelict and has been brought back to life for 21st century living. Old timbers have been adapted and reused along with very old tables serving a new purpose whilst all of the new wood was bought from sustainable sources. The restoration of the Coach House has also helped to revamp the area and created a new venue for Goole as well as created four new jobs for the town with further jobs anticipated as the Coach House soon becomes a seven day venue.
The Coach House completes the Aire Street collection being the final building to be restored. Adjacent to the Lowther Hotel, now officially the oldest hotel in England, it has stood up against everything the world has thrown at it and now stands proud with a new use as part of the leisure and tourism economy that will allow it to stand for another 200 years. Innovation comes from not only restoring a Georgian period building but actually saving what was a dilapidated structure far more likely to be condemned and demolished rather than restored. With great care and attention to detail the restoration of The Coach House has given renewed life to a fine Goole gem that will enhance the town’s offer for decades to come.