Restoration Project begins
In 2012 a building survey was carried out highlighting areas of damage and decay inside and outside the Ist Earl's Summer House. Some minor repairs have been undertaken over the years, however in 2018 and 2020 further reports showed an increasing demand for conservation and repair.
During this project some of the works will include replacing the iron railings that once surrounded the basement steps, repairing the retaining wall to the basement steps, brickwork and floor repairs to the cellar chambers and new drainage to be incorporated to the rear of the building to alleviate flooding in the cellar.
The building requires masonry repairs and repointing particularly to the parapet walls and cornices. Pointing is the external part of mortar joints in brickwork. Over time, weathering and decay causes damage in the joints allowing in water. Some areas of the parapet are suffering due to delaminating brickwork and there are some areas where brickwork is missing altogether. These repairs are essential to prevent further water penetration to the brickwork which if left unrepaired will lead to considerable damage, loss of historic material and increasingly expensive repairs.
Inside the Summer House the plasterwork on both the ceiling and walls has suffered water damage. During this project the ceiling is being repaired and the missing cornicing will be replaced. To replicate the intricate cornicing, moulds will be taken of the existing plaster cornice so a new section can be produced to replace the damaged area.
The cast iron grille covering the floor duct is also broken in several places and has partially collapsed. It will be repaired and replaced when the internal works are carried out.
The work is underway and some of these tasks are already finished. The project is set to be completed over the next couple of years.