AN historic well dating back as far as the 16th century has been unearthed during preparation work for the controlled demolition of a Borders eyesore, it has emerged.

The find is just one of the surprises and obstacles encountered by contractors since work started at 2 High Street, Jedburgh, in January.

The result is that hopes of completing the demolition work by July as planned are no longer thought to be realistic.

The work started after Scottish Borders Council was granted a Compulsory Purchase Order last year.

Contractors have been working to clean up the site, improve access, installing a temporary electricity supply and making alterations to street lighting to enable further works to continue.

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Given the fragile state of the building, significant steelwork needs to be installed to support the shared gable wall to the High Street.

Additional site investigation works have also commenced to reassess the amount of underpinning required throughout the building.

In January, planned archaeological survey and monitoring works were also undertaken in the basement of the building which uncovered an historic well dating back to the 16th-17th century, belonging to a former building that sat on the site which was demolished in or around 1866.

Given that find and the complexity of the overall project the completion of demolition works will now be later than planned.

An original timescale of 34 weeks had been outlined for the full demolition of the building, with a late July completion date, however this will now be reassessed.

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Gordon Edgar, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for infrastructure, travel and transport, said: “After lengthy delays, it’s encouraging to see progress being made at 2 High Street Jedburgh, meaning the controlled demolition of the building is nearing ever closer.

“I’m conscious that there is a lot of public interest in this project and that the locals are eager to see quick progress made on the demolition of the building and its subsequent replacement.

“The process of controlled demolition is extremely complex and requires a great deal of care. Since the beginning of the project in December a number of unforeseen and additional works have been identified which means the overall completion date will be later than anticipated.”

Once the dismantling process is completed, a new building – comprising a commercial space on ground level and new apartments on the upper floor – will be built “which blends into the surrounding environment and complements the traditional architecture”.

This will incorporate salvaged stone ornaments from the existing building in the new stone wall facing the street, providing a link to the past and preserving the history of the old building.