A medieval building designed for "feasting and fun" has been awarded the European Union's most prestigious prize for heritage restoration.
Poundstock Gildhouse in North Cornwall was one of only three properties across the continent to receive a "grand prix" in the 2012 Europa Nostra Conservation Awards. At a ceremony in the village yesterday, a plaque was unveiled by Cornwall's Lord Lieutenant, Edward Bolitho, who praised the team responsible for bringing the 500-year-old building back to life.
Yesterday's event marked the culmination of a 12-year campaign to restore the cob and timber structure. Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and costing £400,000, the project was led by St Winwaloe parochial church council and architect Jonathan Rhind, who said: "This delightful building was originally built for the community and the restoration has been achieved by the enthusiasm and dedication of the community."
The Grade I listed Gildhouse is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Britain to have remained in continual community use for more than 500 years. It has been a poor house, schoolroom and parish meeting hall and is now used for a variety of community and church events.