Summary = Bakers recently carried out the repair and conservation to the Grade II Listed former library on Mill Road, Cambridge

Location = Cambridge

Challenge = The biggest challenge was replacing the rotten clerestory windows and posts to the vaulted ceiling

Solution = Bakers of Danbury recently completed works to the Former Library on Mill Road, Cambridge to repair, conserve and restore the historic fabric of the Victorian Grade II listed building. The building had been vacant for several years and was at risk, due to extensive damp caused by a failing rainwater system, poor ventilation and lack of regular maintenance.

The new rainwater goods installed were designed and adapted by the architect to address the increased rainwater capacity due to climate change. Defective plaster was removed and renewed with a breathable lime render.

Whilst supporting the existing roof, Bakers carefully removed the clerestory windows and repaired the timber posts and oak sills onsite. The clerestory windows were repaired and repainted at Baker's joinery workshop in Danbury, before being returned to site, reinstalled and fitted with a new automated opening system operated both manually and via thermostatic control to provide natural ventilation.

External works included brick and stone repairs, renewal and consolidation; and replacement lead roofing. Once on site, additional items were identified needing urgent attention – these included hidden steels within the roof structure; lath and plaster ceiling to the barrel vault; stabilisation of external stone and brick and repairs at high level to the parapet.

The central roof lantern was restored, including structural timber repair, renewal of the lead and timber repairs and redecoration to the windows.

Former Mill Road Library was Commended in the Greater Cambridge Design and Construction Awards 2022.

Images: Damian Griffiths