Wasdale Hall YHA roof repairs

View of YHA under wraps

The National Trust owns Wasdale Hall on the North Western shore of Wastwater, and has leased it to the Youth Hostelling Association of England and Wales since 1960. This has provided a valuable gateway to the Western Lake District fells for thousands of avid walkers and outdoor enthusiasts, something we're really pleased to have made happen.

History of the hall

The hall was constructed in 1829 for Stansfield Rawson, a Yorkshire businessman. The building is in an Elizabethan style with a mixture of stone and half-timbered elevations, under a stone slate roof. We purchased the hall in 1959, meaning that we were able to secure access for the public along the shore of Wastwater, which had previously been private grounds.

The works 

Recent surveys and maintenance checks revealed that large areas of roof are in need of overhaul, and large areas of masonry and pointing require attention. This includes the need for the reconstruction of several chimney stacks, sections of which are built from the original cut grit stone. This is a project where we'll invest over a quarter of a million pounds in carrying out the necessary works, which will safeguard the future of the building for many years to come. 

Balancing the nature of the works and the busy use of the building (by people and roosting bats), the most suitable time of year to carry out the works is the autumn, and the building has been covered with a tented scaffold allowing work to be carried out in all weathers, and not interrupt internal use of the building. 

It's home to bats

We've found that the hall acts as a resting place to four species of bat; Brown Long-Eared, Brandt’s, Common Pipistrelle and Soprano Pipistrelle, so it's really important to ensure that works are carried out in a way which does not impact the bats any more than is absolutely necessary. Temporary bat boxes have been installed, and permanent bat access through the new roof covering and other areas that they are using are being incorporated to ensure that they have as long a future in the building as we all do.