We're half-way there...

New Welsh slate along the north-east range

We began working on repairing our leaking roof at the beginning of the New Year and we’re now half-way through the project.

We’ve welcome thousands of visitors up onto the roof since we opened in February and we have received nearly £4,000 in donation through our #SignaSlate campaign and raffle ticket entries. The reaction from visitors has been fantastic and despite some inclement weather earlier in the year we have been running tours during the working week for the past two months.

" We enjoyed the whole day but we thoroughly enjoyed the Scaffold Climb. It was extremely informative and the scenery was beautiful! "
- Scaffold Climber, April 2017

Things are looking very different up on the roof now, but there is still time to head up and hear about the importance of this large-scale conservation effort as Scaffold Climbs will be running until the beginning of September.

The new slates

Almost 50% of the new slates have now been put on the roof, with the pavilion above the Gilt Room and Best Chamber and the long section visible from the front of the house having been completed.

The roofers are now working on retiling those areas visible from the inner courtyard.

The chimneys

The chimney repairs have proven trickier to tackle than initially anticipated. They were in a much poorer condition that we initially thought with a number of holes in the flu walls which needed addressing.

These more extensive works - coupled with the high winds of March - have ensured our fireplace protection has been put fully to the test.

This month, the contractors have started adding pots to the tops of the rebuilt chimney stacks. It has been a long time since the chimneys had any pots but they will increase the scale of the chimneys and add to the grandeur of the mansion house overall.

The new pots sitting proudly onto of the repaired chimney stacks
Brand new chimney pots sit atop of the repaired chimney stacks

The dormer windows

We’re around three-quarters of the way to completing the repairs to the 12 dormer windows. The new sash windows are currently being made in the workshop.

Exciting discoveries

When removing some defective and cracked cement render on the gable end the team discovered the wall behind was in fact a timber frame structure and not bricks as originally thought.

Despite delaying the progress in this area this has been an exciting discovery for us and we think that this particular wall was not constructed with the intention of being an external wall. It is thought the original plan for the house was to have the south-east range extend the full length of the building to match the north-west range.

We have carried out recordings of the area and had to undertake a structural survey to ensure the frame was still sound. Unfortunately, dendrochronologists were unable to date the structure as the timer frames had simply grown too quickly to have a sufficient number of tree rings.

We are in the process of carrying out some structural repairs to the timber and plan to timber board this particular wall rather than lime render it as originally intended. We hope the timber boarding will give the wall a sense of less permanence than a rendered finish would.

The timber frame structure was revealed following removal of crumbling render
A timber frame structure at the gable end of the roof