WORK is underway to restore a historic pub devastated by fire 19 months ago.

Richard King is working to rebuild and refurbish The Kings Head in Bradwell on Sea.

Mr King has been providing monthly updates to Bradwell on Sea Parish Council to keep them up to speed with the work being completed.

The pub was ravaged by fire in September 2014 after an industrial fryer blaze – two days before Mr King was due to complete his purchase.

Landlords, Mike and Kay Clay, stayed with relatives after the blaze but it is understood they hope to return to the pub after its refurbishment.

In February woodworkers took down the roof timber frames, the front gable and part of the first floor.

All the parts will be repaired or replaced. Timbers in the building as also being repaired.

In his latest update to the council Mr King said: “It is a very complicated job with not only fire damage but 550 years of rot and worm damage.

“We are working closely with Tim Howson from Maldon Council conservation department and Malcolm Ginns, an expert in this period and style of building.

“The original build quality is of a very high standard and there is evidence upstairs of fixed benches at the front of the Solar, on three walls.

“This has led Tim to think the building was of some special significance.

“We are making a much bigger financial outlay to save original timbers rather than replace to keep as much originality and character as possible.”

The timbers are also going to be dendrochronologically dated, using tree ring dating, to ascertain the exact age of the building.

Mr King said there had been delays to the restoration due to a structural engineer not wanting to take on the job and initial rebuilding works.