TWENTY-FIVE years ago saw the first mention of plans to move an entire cottage to create a new museum in Ledbury.

The building was originally part of Butcher Row, a line of eight half-timbered houses in the middle of what is now the High Street, stretching from the Lower Cross up towards St Katherine's Chapel.

Some of the buildings were shared by two traders - one was an inn and the others contained premises for a straw bonnet maker, a bookbinder, three butchers, a fishmonger, a baker, a barber and a basketmaker.

It was decided to knock down the houses because the thoroughfares on either side were too narrow; pedestrians were drenched by muck thrown up by carriage wheels and, occasionally, crushed by them.

By 1830, more than £247 had been collected from townspeople to help pay for the demolition work and, in 1835, an Act of Parliament was passed to enable the rest of the cost to be borrowed.

One of the buildings was bought by a local shopkeeper, who reassembled it behind his premises in Church Street. It served successive owners of the shop as a summerhouse and store-room but by 1976 had lain empty and unused for years.

The cottage was given to the town that year by its owners, sisters Mrs Gwenda Hunt and Mrs Muriel Hatton, on condition that it be "moved to a place where it can be seen and admired by townspeople and visitors alike".

The project was taken in hand by Ledbury and District Society Trust, who suggested that a site in Church Lane, where the Congregational Chapel once stood -the site which was eventually stolen. It was 25 years ago that the society launched the project, forming a limited liability company to deal with it.

Chairman Bob Plenderleith said fundraising - the total cost was estimated to exceed £10,000 - would start with the used newspaper collection service operated by Miss E M Philpott. The project was duly carried out and the house, dismantled and reassembled for the second time is now Butcher Row museum in Church Lane.