Looking after The Courts

The scaffolding at The Courts, January 2020

In March 2020, important conservation work was completed on the roof of the historic house at The Courts Garden.

Like all the houses we look after, the one at The Courts needs conservation to protect it against the elements and the wear and tear of time. This is especially important at The Courts thanks to the stone used to make the roof tiles, over 200 years ago.

Cotswold stone made of forest marble shelly limestone from the South Cotswolds
Cotswold stone made of forest marble shelly limestone from the South Cotswolds
Cotswold stone made of forest marble shelly limestone from the South Cotswolds


In this photograph of a roof tile taken from The Courts, you can see the unusual texture.

Building Surveyor, Jim Percival, explains. 'This is the underside of a Cotswold stone roof tile from The Courts, made of 'forest marble shelly limestone' from the South Cotswolds, laid down in the Middle Jurassic Epoch. These shells you see are at least 163 million years old. This stone was used for building because it is particularly strong due to naturally occurring crystalline calcite cement, which leaves few pore spaces for water to penetrate.'

In January 2020, work began to lift the tiles over the tea-room at The Courts, replace any failed slates, re-dress the slates in good, solid condition and relay them. Two months later, in March 2020, the work was complete.

The roof of the Rose Garden tea-room at The Courts Garden now the conservation work is complete
The slate roof of the Rose Garden tea-room at The Courts Garden
The roof of the Rose Garden tea-room at The Courts Garden now the conservation work is complete

'The tiles are probably 200 years old already,' says Jim, 'treated well, we expect them to keep the building warm and dry for at least another 100 years to come.'