Category Archives: Listed Buildings

Refurbishment of Spains Hall

  • Summary: Refurbishment of Spains Hall, a Grade I Listed Country home in Finchinfield, Essex including some alterations to the Great Hall to accommodate weddings and functions
  • Value: Approximately £1,500,000
  • Location: Finchingfield, Essex
  • Architect: Kay Pilsbury Thomas Architects Ltd
  • Challenge: The house was in need of substantial restoration and repair, as very little work had been carried out on the house for decades.
  • Solution: Spains Hall is a beautiful Grade I Listed country house circa 1570, incorporating a timber framed medieval house C1400-50.
  • The sympathetic restoration, repair and alterations began in August 2008, during which many hidden original features were enhanced and brought back to their former glory. These features include the jib door, the Tudor well in the floor and the restored flamboyant Victorian wallpapers.

    The house was altered to add new facilities allowing the house to open to the public for the first time for business and hospitality use, including weddings and functions. The rooms which were altered for business and hospitality use included:

    • The porch
    • The Great Hall
    • The large drawing room
    • The dining room
    • The vestibule
    • The south staircase lobby
    • The tapestry bedroom and en-suite
    • A new w/c for disabled and elderly people inc. baby-changing facilities
    • New separate w/c facilities

    The refurbishment of Spains Hall included major restoration works in the Great Hall and remaining rooms. Within the Great Hall repairs were made to the primary beams and the supporting brick walls were strengthened. Where possible, carvings were cut from the decayed beam and fitted onto the new sections.

    Where carvings could not be salvaged, Bakers' in-house joinery workshop hand carved replica carvings. New oak floor joists were introduced, plank flooring installed and substantial wall panel repairs were made within the Great Hall, the large drawing room and the vestibule.

    A new kitchen was installed with large French doors and a fanlight. New bathrooms and en-suites were also installed.

    New mechanical systems, heating, plumbing, electrical power and lighting were sensitively installed as well as Audio Visual systems with speakers hidden within the wall panelling.

    The tapestry bedroom and en-suite were fully restored, to be used by the Bride and Groom for wedding functions.

    A large roof light was installed within the roof of the entrance hall to gain additional light. The small staircase was replaced with a large Georgian style sweeping timber staircase, to create a dramatic and welcoming entrance hall.

    The rear entrance was also remodelled to include a new large panelled entrance door and long side sash windows to let more natural light in.

    The external walls were re-pointed where the pointing had failed. Windows were restored which included stained glass repairs. Roof tile repairs and lead repairs were also carried out. The garden walls were also repaired, and a new opening formed with an arch leading into the formal gardens.

    The refurbishment of Spains Hall was awarded the RICS 2012 National Grand Finalist Award for Building Conservation

    National Trust, Rainham Hall

    Summary: Conservation and restoration of National Trust Rainham Hall. Conservation and restoration works were carried out to three floors of Rainham Hall and its Coach House. Works included the redevelopment of the Coach House into a tea room.

    Value: Approximately £1,500,000

    Location: London Borough of Havering

    Architect: Julian Harrap Architects LLP

    Challenge: Provide wheelchair access to first floor of Coach House whilst retaining the aesthetic look of the building.

    Solution: Prior to the conservation and restoration project, the building had been in disrepair and on the Historic England at Risk Register. It had been completely inaccessible to the public.

    Constructed in the early eighteenth century, the Stable Block at Rainham Hall included a stable with a hayloft above with a brew house adjacent. When work started, it became clear that the roof had undergone various repairs and rebuilds in its history; leaving it with a poor structural integrity. Bakers of Danbury carried out structural roof repairs and re-tiling.

    During the conservation and restoration of National Trust Rainham Hall a temporary staircase gave visitors the chance to see the works up close during a number of 'Hard Hat' tours.

    Bakers of Danbury’s inhouse Specialist Joinery Shop built and installed a timber-clad vertical lift shaft with a spiral cantilevered staircase. The design of the new lift core, located in the within the Grade II Listed Brew House, echoes the large copper vats used in the 18th century brewing process.

    To the Main Hall, Bakers of Danbury undertook a large renovation project including a full M&E overhaul. Bakers of Danbury also installed new w/c and carried out conservator decorating.

    Externally Bakers of Danbury carried out re-pointing and brickwork repairs to all elevations.

    In October 2015, the Stable Block at Rainham Hall opened to the public as a café and community space.

    The conservation and restoration of National Trust Rainham Hall was shortlisted for the RICS Building Conservation Awards 2018.

    Extension to Grade II Listed Property

    Summary = A new build double storey extension which consisted of a garden room, dining room and first floor bedroom with en-suite.

    Value = £150,000

    Challenge = The extension had to constructed sensitively, to ensure its in keeping with the existing grade II Listed property.

    Solution = Bakers worked closely with the property owner throughout the build, to ensure they take part in all decision making. The extension was constructed to a high specification, with cornice designed to match the existing and new box frame sashes and french doors handmade in house by the Bakers’ Joinery workshop. Ashlar lines were applied to the exterior render to match the exterior of the existing property.

    The property was occupied whilst all works were carried out. To minimise disruption to the household; the extension was constructed, with the breakthrough to the existing house being carried out towards the end of the project.

    The owners were so impressed with the work carried out, they asked Bakers to return to repair their storm damaged barn. Works to the barn are due to complete later this year.

    The Charterhouse, London

    Value = £2,100,000

    Location = London, EC1M 6AN

    Architect = Eric Parry Architects

    Conservation Architect = Richard Griffiths Architects

    Landscape Architect = Todd Longstaffe-Gowan

    Project management = Jackson Coles

    Summary = Having been hidden from view and closed to public for over 650 years - the Charterhouse, a historic London landmark recently underwent extensive remodelling and conservation before being formerly opened to public by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh on 28th February 2017.

    Challenge = The large conservation, restoration and alteration project “Revealing the Charterhouse” included remodelling of the Grade I listed building to house a new museum, learning centre, cafe, reception area and public toilets, as well as conservation and restoration works to the external fabric of Charterhouse Chapel and the re-design of Charterhouse Square.

    Works took place whilst paying careful consideration to the Brothers who reside at the Charterhouse.

    Solution = The recently completed £4 million project, “Revealing the Charterhouse” was funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund and other generous supporters. To ensure that the project was carried out to the highest standard, Bakers of Danbury were appointed Principal Contractors.

    Ann Kenrick OBE, Master, the Charterhouse said:

    “We are hugely grateful for the works carried out by Bakers of Danbury and for their unwavering dedication to the Revealing the Charterhouse project. The skilled craftsmen from Bakers work to an extremely high standard producing a finish which has exceeded all of our expectations. They were a pleasure to work with, always keeping to their word, and we couldn’t be happier with their overall approach and diligence.

    I would recommend Bakers of Danbury to anyone."

    REVEALING THE CHARTERHOUSE

    The project “Revealing the Charterhouse” not only opens the Charterhouse to the general public, but as depicted by its name, has made the historic gem visible to passers-by, who otherwise may not have noticed the beautiful medieval buildings partially hiding behind a hedgerow. Bakers of Danbury replaced the hedges with new landscaping including entrance gates with the motto in old French “virtue is the only nobility”.

    As a result of the new landscaping, as you approach Chapel Court (the entrance to Charterhouse) a beautiful path constructed of Scoutmoor Yorkstone will lead you through the entrance gates to the museum entrance - but before you proceed through the gates, at your feet you will find a feature stone with a brass inlay outlining the original footprint of the monastery.

    Chosen for its durability; the slabs of the Scoutmoor Yorkstone pathway measure as large as 1500mm x 1500mm. Before the 63mm thick Yorkstone path could be laid, trial holes were made to Chapel Court and inspected by the Museum of London Archaeology team. To keep excavation to a minimum, the path was laid on a raised reinforced concrete base.

    As you enter Chapel Court through the entrance gates, you will find a cast bronze model of the existing Charterhouse buildings. After the model was cast, it was sent away for patination – a decorative technique in which chemical solutions are applied to react with the surface, to provide a thin layer of coloured corrosion which gives an antique appearance.

    The new landscaping to Chapel Court depicts the footprint of the original Chapel walls which was built in 1349 for the victims of the Black Death. It also gives pride of place to the new memorial of Sir Walter Manny – the monastery’s principle founder. The memorial marks the final resting place of Sir Walter Manny and is constructed of a beautiful Travertine tombstone, with base, plinth and eased arrises also of Travertine stone. On it is carved Sir Walter Manny, Died 1372.

    CHARTERHOUSE CHAPEL

    As part of the project, Bakers of Danbury carried out conservation and restoration works to the external fabric of the Chapel visible from Chapel Court. The extensive fabric repairs include stone cleaning and lime mortar repointing to the whole chapel and tower, as well as the traditional method of shelter coating to help preserve the softer friable stone. Where necessary Kentish Ragstone and Elm Park Bath stone supplied by Bakers of Danbury’s sister company Collins and Curtis Masonry sympathetically replaced stone which was beyond repair.

    THE MUSEUM AND LEARNING CENTRE

    The new reception area and learning centre are of a contemporary design with European Oak panelling and a painted plaster finish. A breathable silicate paint was used on existing solid walls, to prevent any moisture in the walls from causing ‘blistering’ and ‘bubbling’ of the paint.

    As you enter the new reception area you will notice the impressive coffered ceiling, with indirect lighting within octagon recesses, which continues through the learning centre. The octagon coffered ceiling was designed to echo the octagon recess detail on the Chapel ceiling.

    Bakers of Danbury carried out the base build for the new museum including climate control and secondary glazing. Bakers also relocated the sculpture representing Faith, Hope and Charity, to its new location looking over the museum.

    CHARTERHOUSE SQUARE

    As part of the project, Charterhouse Square was re-designed, inspired by its 18th century layout - this included the installation of gas lamps, a new pavilion, new benches and the refurbishment of the Grade II listed entrance gates and railings surrounding the square. The square has also been increased in size, by removing parking bays.

    Quay Place, Ipswich, Suffolk

    Value = £2,000,000

    Location = Ipswich, Suffolk

    Architect = Molyneux Kerr Architects

    Summary = Regeneration of a Grade II Listed redundant medieval Church. New build extension and mezzanine floor of a contemporary design.

    Challenge = The redundant church suffered from war damage, damp, a decayed roof and leaning walls.

    Solution = Formerly the church of St Mary-at-the-Quay but now called Quay Place, was until its recent regeneration a redundant medieval Church.

    The Grade II listed church which was believed to have been built around 1450 and 1550, is located next to Ipswich’s quayside. It suffered from war damage, damp, a decayed roof and leaning walls until the 17 month restoration programme gave Quay Place a new future as a centre for both heritage and well being activities, café and an event space alongside therapy provision.

    The Churches Conservation Trust teamed up with the local charity Suffolk Mind, and together they secured Heritage Lottery Funds and European Regional Development Funds to cover the cost of the restoration. In April 2014 Bakers of Danbury started work on the project as Principal Contractor. The specialist restoration works include the structural stabilisation and incorporation of a large contemporary mezzanine floor for office space. A new contemporary design extension provides further offices and consulting rooms.

    Bakers of Danbury's sister company Collins and Curtis Masonry supplied all new stone for the restoration and new build. Measurements were taken onsite to produce templates, which were then used to manufacture the replacement features to arches, jambs, tracery, cills and copings in their workshops. Traditional methods of masonry were used to manufacture the stone details.

    The project was recently awarded a Civic Trust 2018 AABC Conservation award, RICS National 2017 (Highly Commended) and a RICS East of England 2017 award for Building Conservation. It also received a Highly Commended Award within the Ipswich Society Awards in 2016.

    All images credited to Andy Marshall Architectural Photography

    Chapter House, St Paul’s Cathedral

    Value = £2,400,000

    Location = St Paul Cathedral, London

    Architect = Purcell UK

    Summary = Full internal / external refurbishment and internal alterations

    Challenge = Working on a Grade II listed building within the city of London provided its own distinct set of challenges. The client and architect were looking to provide a 21st century office and meeting space, while at the same time preserving the layout and traditional finishes seen in many parts of the building.

    Solution = Internal alterations to provide a lift and new staircases throughout the building, new internal glass partitions, finishes, decorations and services, plus removal of the existing roof and construction of a new roof structure to provide a new third floor level.

    Chapter House, St Paul’s Cathedral

    Cressing Temple Barns, Essex

    Value = £120,000

    Location = Cressing, Essex

    Client = Essex County Council

    Summary = Renovation of the farmhouse and various roofing repairs

    Challenge = Working on an important heritage site open to general public. The site dates back to the 1100’s when it was given to the Knights Templar and is home to three Grade I listed barns as well as Tudor built Walled Gardens.

    Solution = Timber frame and roof repairs, lime repairs and re-thatching.

    Cressing Temple Barn - Thatched Roof

    Parklands Bridge, Upminster

    Value = £170,000

    Location = Gayners Park, Old Upminster

    Client = Havering Borough Council

    Summary = Refurbishment of Grade II Listed bridge over a lake

    Challenge = Working over a river- some of the works carried out were below the water line.

    Solution = The river was originally diverted using large drainage pipes and later dammed to control water levels. This allowed access for scaffolding to be erected and works to be carried out particularly below the usual water level. Works included removal of modern cements, re-rendering in traditional materials - lime and roman cements, structural repairs, new balustrading and new surface to bridge.