Building Conservation at Townend

We’re nearly done! Our major conservation project to remove and replace the two rotten main timbers in the oldest part of Townend is almost finished. We’re so excited to share what we discovered as we peeled away centuries of hidden history in this Grade I listed farmhouse.

This project has been a huge undertaking, just imagine what it feels like to press against a 400 year old solid oak beam and feel it crumble beneath your fingers. That was what we were faced with when we scraped away the top layer of render to check the condition of the beams holding up the farmhouse last year.

The rot was discovered during a routine inspection of the external lime render. On removing the render it was clear that two of the beams in the front façade of the Firehouse (the main reception room and oldest part of the house) were crumbling due to wet rot.

The last few months have seen Townend cloaked in scaffolding and held up by a metal support structure while builders gradually peeled away the layers of render on the house to reveal stonework probably last seen in mid-Victorian times. Then it was time for the rotten beams to be removed and replaced with new ones. Once that was done we re-decorated and reinstated the inside of the house and the decoration of the outside of the house will continue now were open.

Replacing damaged sections of 400 year old solid oak beams from a Grade 1 listed farmhouse is no easy task, but along the way there have been some fascinating discoveries that we’re excited to share with you.


Filming the rot at Townend

Alex Fowkes and Amon Shaw from Carlisle are in the second year of an Adventure Media course at the University of Cumbria and they have set up their own production company, Thrown Overboard Media Company. They have been filming our conservation project from start to finish and have produced this short edit of the project work.