Conserving the Tudor Great Hall for centuries to come

Rufford Old Hall Building Work 2016

Why not visit Rufford Old Hall this Summer for an insight into the traditional building work and conservation techniques that are used in the restoration of the magnificent Tudor Great Hall?

Why are we doing this?

Concrete and brick were used to replace the panels during the mid-20th century. These were no doubt lovingly installed at the time, but as our conservation knowledge has grown, we have learnt that they are in fact detrimental to the original timber frame of the Hall, as its ability to flex and move has been reduced. By replacing these panels with natural materials sympathetic to the building, the Tudor Great Hall will be able to breathe once more.

" Who knows…we’d love to think it will survive another 500 years! "
- Katie Owen, Senior House Steward

Thanks to your support, the first phase of this project was carried out in 2016 and saw parts of the north wall of the Hall replaced with traditional wattle and daub by heritage building specialists.

Commencing on 31st July 2017, the more extensive second phase of the project will be taking place. The north wall will be completed; alongside the gable end and south wall of the Grade I listed Tudor Hall.

Careful work taking place on the Compass Bay Window in 2016
Rufford Old Hall building work Compass Bay Window

We will be open 7 days a week whilst this work is taking place.

The whole of the House, Garden and Great Hall itself will remain open to the public during the entirety of the restoration; giving visitors a rare opportunity to see this unique conservation-in-action project. There will be opportunities to see the work close-up, have a conservation tour and get stuck in to some wattle and daubing yourself…. however smelly it may be!

Have a go at making your own wattle and daub!
Rufford Old Hall building work 2017

This work will help to ensure that this special place is preserved for all to enjoy; forever, for everyone. You can support by visiting, paying admission, drinking tea and eating cake, and if you’re wondering what more you could do to help, please speak to a member of staff.

Every penny you spend at Rufford Old Hall helps towards ensuring this important work takes place.

What’s involved?

The panels in the Great Hall will be removed and replaced with traditional methods and materials. To do this, the 500 year old building will be fenced across all three walls and items from the collection will be moved or covered to protect from dust. This part of the project will last 6 weeks and coincide with the School Summer holidays.

The Suits of Armour will be covered and moved out of the Great Hall and placed in the Dining Room and Ante Room to protect them from dust and damp.

The armour in our collection will take pride of place in the Dining Room for all to see
Rufford Old Hall building work armour

A sight not to be missed

This is a great opportunity for the Great Hall to reveal things about itself and its original construction. It’s likely that the last work was carried out during the 1960’s. But how was it built? We may discover more about the original construction so we will keep you updated and will share any interesting details that are uncovered.

Finishing touches to the North Wall in the 2016conservation project
Rufford Old Hlal building work 2016 image