Repairs to the historic stable roof at Petworth

Historic brick stable buildings at Petworth

*Update. Thu 3 Jun 2021. The roof has been repaired and the road closure has ended.* The roof of the historic stables at Petworth House has partially collapsed and needs essential repairs and maintenance carried out. We want to save this historic structure from collapse and - as the building runs alongside the road - it needs an immediate response for safety. Unfortunately, this means a road closure at Park Road and diversion to the one-way system for three weeks starting on Mon 17 May 2021.

What’s is the road closure and diversion?  

To see where the road closure is on a map click here, then choose the directions tab and input your start and end destination to see if a diversion is required for your journey.  

Access to Petworth town 

Although Park Road will be closed, Petworth town will remain open and accessible throughout the works. There is a diversion in place through Petworth to access the A283. Petworth House and Park will also remain open - please follow the diversion signs if travelling from the south.

The structure itself

The National Trust’s buildings team identified a cracked purlin beam in the East Range Stable roof, which allowed the rafters to sag inwards and tiles to become dislodged. The collapsed roof has currently been stabilised with acrow-props and scaffolding. The roof, therefore, requires a more permanent repair, and as the building runs alongside the road, it needs an immediate response. 

All National Trust buildings have regular safety and conservation inspection reports, however from time-to-time historic buildings develop faults. In this instance the large oak beam, supporting the roof structure has cracked lengthways, due to a weakness in the timber itself, where the tree originally grew.  

Essential repair work 

During the building repair to the East Range Stable roof, slates will be removed, timbers will be replaced or repaired, and the slates themselves will be changed. Snow guards will also be added to catch any tiles that could slide off the roof. Scaffolding will be used to allow roof access on the town-side during the repair works, and as Park Road is too narrow for traffic to pass by the required scaffolding, this means a road-closure is required throughout the duration of the works.   

The historic importance of the stables at Petworth 

The stables form part of the network of original buildings at Petworth House and Park. They are, therefore, part of the important history of the area, which is why building repairs are required. 

" We really appreciate that this is not what any of us would have wanted with businesses only just reopening and we offer our sincere apologies. We are grateful for the support of Petworth Town Council, West Sussex Highways and local community groups."
- Adam Hastie, General Manager

National Trust General Manager, Adam Hastie said: ‘Please bear with us while we make essential safety repairs to the historic stable building along Park Road. On 23 April the roof of our East Range Stable partially collapsed. We worked rapidly to stabilise it with props and are monitoring this, but the stabilisation is only temporary. As the building runs along the roadside, it needs an immediate response for safety reasons and we want to save this historic building from further damage.  

Unfortunately, this means a road closure at Park Road and diversion to the one-way system from 17 May for three weeks.   

We have been liaising with buildings specialists and the local authorities to consider every option. We really appreciate that this is not what any of us would have wanted with businesses only just reopening and we offer our sincere apologies. We are grateful for the support of Petworth Town Council, West Sussex Highways and local community groups. 

Together with businesses in Petworth, we remain open as usual and are fully accessible via the diversion. Petworth Park is open for walks and the House and Pleasure Garden by prebooked tickets.