Cobbling project at Florence Court draws to a close
The project to restore the cobbles in the laundry yard at Florence Court is coming to a close and the results are remarkable.
Time is rarely kind to buildings and we work hard to maintain and preserve the places in our care for future generations. Sometimes the work required is on an epic scale, resulting in the transformation of a buildings and landscapes, delivering a real wow factor. More often than not however, conservation projects are on-going and unglamorous, rarely noticed by visitors and yet, without essential maintenance work, much of the character and history of the places in our care would be lost forever.
Conserving our history
The cobbling at Florence Court is a case in point - few people probably notice the ground that they walk on but the traditional 1840’s cobbling in the laundry yard was in danger of disappearing under layers of dust and sand gathered over the years.
Rory Hackett project manager and National Trust building surveyor explains: ‘70 per cent of the cobbles remained and were in good order but they could barely be seen. Maintaining the original look of the laundry yard and the aesthetics of the area become a priority and so a restoration project began late this summer to restore the original flooring.’
Costing £42,000 the six week project involved diggers and a team of skilled specialists whose job it was to remove, wash and relay the cobbles.
‘The cobbles first needed to be lifted and individually cleaned to remove over 100 years of dirt and dust,’ Rory explains. ‘Once washed each cobble needed to be replaced and bedded using a durable hard fill that can cope with today’s traffic. Where cobbles were missing we were able to replace them with cobbles saved from earlier work carried on in the cattle yard.’
With an area of 600 square meters to be cleaned, and an estimated 20-30 stones per meter, the team certainly had their work cut out for them but the results are well worth the effort. The once hidden cobbles are now clearly visible for all to see, preserving the character of the laundry yard for many years to come.
Visit Florence Court to take a look at the restored cobbles in the laundry yard. While there be sure to visit the walled garden to see the work we're doing to restore kitchen garden and pond.