Tag Archives: restoration

Restoration of a Farmhouse

Summary: Restoration of a farmhouse which included two small extensions together with various alterations and a complete redecoration throughout.

Location: Essex

Bakers of Danbury have recently completed a 28 week restoration project at a farmhouse, during which Bakers built two small extensions together with various alterations and a complete redecoration throughout. Internal alterations within the existing house have opened the living space up, to make it lighter and more convenient for day to day living.

To strengthen the property, Bakers carried out repairs to the timber frame which included sole plate repairs made in green oak and brick plinth repairs. Some parts of the house were re-rendered in lime plaster.

The new hand cut timber frame extensions have extended both the kitchen and utility room. In keeping with the existing house; externally the new extensions were covered in weather boarding to the lower level and lime plaster to the upper level. All rooms are being completely renovated with new electrics and central heating systems installed throughout. The family bathroom and two en suites were completely refurbished with new bathroom furniture and tiling installed.

Together with a full redecoration, all existing beams were cleaned using the dry ice blasting method and the existing lath and plaster infills were either repaired or replaced. New floors were laid throughout, which included a mixture of natural stone and engineered hardwood flooring.

Bakers of Danbury’s joinery workshop manufactured bespoke doors, windows and fitted furniture. External landscaping and drainage works were carried out

Take a look at our short film on woodcarving

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Refurbishment and Extension to a Farmhouse

Summary: Bakers recently completed a refurbishment and extension to a listed timber frame farmhouse in Brentwood, which partly dates back to the 16th century.

Location: Near Brentwood, Essex

The full refurbishment of the farmhouse included removing the decayed sole plate and spalled damaged brick plinth. New foundations and brick plinth were constructed, a new mortised sole plate was fitted, with newly formed tenons on the existing oak posts and studs.

The whole farmhouse was decorated and the existing exposed timber beams, posts and studs within the farmhouse were cleaned. All three bathrooms were refurbished and limestone flooring laid. A new mechanical and electrical overhaul was carried out which included lighting, heating and plumbing systems. Two new extensions were constructed in traditional timber frame. They provide a kitchen and a utility cloakroom, both in keeping with the original house.

The whole farmhouse was re-rendered in breathable lime mortar with a brick plinth. Bakers have carried out a soft and hard landscaping scheme with external lighting, a summer house and pergolas.

Within the farmhouse Bakers refurbished a late 16th century/ early 17th century style double thickness door which was originally the front door. Bakers' joiners applied vertical battens and reinforced wrought iron pintle hinges with spoon terminals, there is an authentic wooden pull handle and rebate for a box lock that has been removed and the keyhole covered with tin plate. The slide bolts are original.

Bakers also carried out the conservation on some biblical text which is located over the first floor fire place. The text has been transcribed by Murial Carrick (who attempted to fill in the missing sections using the 1607 editi and purge your hears ye wavering mynded: suffer afflictions sorrow on of the Geneva Bible (which she acknowledges is not the text used).

Her transcription is as follows (with additions in backets):

(submit yourself to God) and resist the devyll and he will flye from you: drawe nye to God and he will (draw neere to you. Cleanse your hands ye) synners: and purge your hearts ye wavering mynded: Suffre afflictions sorow (ye, and weep: let your laughter bee) turned to mourning and your joye to heaviness: cast downe youre selves before the Lord (and he will lift you up) iiii Go now ye that say to day and tomorrow let us into suche a citeand continue (there a yeare. And buy and sell.) and get gaine and yet cannot tell what shalt happen tomorrow: for what thingies (your life. It is even a vapour that) appeared for a little time and afterward vanished away: for that ye out to say. (If the Lord will. And if we live we will) do this or that but now rejoice in your holiness all such ..rejoicing is evil (therefore. To him that) knoweth how to (doe well and doeth it not) to both soule....Knowledge also be.

Take a look at our short film on woodcarving

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Repair of Cedar Shingle Roof

Summary: Tower repairs including repointing to the round tower, re-shingling the spire roof and refurbishing and reinstating the weathervane.

Location: Broomfield, Essex

Value: £140,000

The octagonal spire roof, which is covered with cedar shingles has suffered extensive damage caused by woodpeckers pecking holes in the shingle roof. Bakers will first remove the softwood cedar shingles from the roof structure to allow the architect and structural engineer to review the battens and substructure. There is expected to be a minimal number of structural repairs needed before the spire roof is covered in hand split Oak shakes on pre-treated softwood battens, with new stainless-steel soakers.

The woodpeckers will be deterred from damaging the new spire roof, firstly because by replacing the shingles it will ensure any insects the woodpeckers were drilling for are removed. Secondly, the new oak shakes will be free from all visual traces of former pecking sites which make woodpeckers more likely to return. The new shakes will be constructed from oak which is a hardwood and will have strips of stainless steel behind them, as the sound vibrating off of them will help deter the woodpeckers.

The round tower is of significant importance due to its round shape. It is constructed from coursed flint and ferruginous conglomerate with roman bricks and quoins and houses six bells, just below eves level supported in a steel frame. Bakers of Danbury will be repointing around 60% of the tower as the existing lime mortar pointing (which includes a very coarse aggregate) is failing at parts. The new pointing will also be of a breathable lime mortar with crushed shell.

Bakers of Danbury will also refurbish and reinstate the weathervane. It will be cleaned, a primer applied, and regilded with 24 carat gold leaf. A traditional sand cast lead cap/ weathering will be designed and installed to the weathervane.

Take a look at our short film on woodcarving

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Bakers Training Programme Featured in Stone Specialist Mag

The Stone Specialist Magazine has featured an article about the our new 18-month, externally accredited site-based Heritage Building Crafts training programme, which is a one of a kind. In that article, Stone Specialist states that Bakers of Danbury is well known in the heritage sector for the carving and stone cleaning skills of its stonemasons, as well as its wider conservation work.

We are looking for new trainees to join our 18 month Heritage Building Training Programme. During which they will be working for Bakers of Danbury 5 days a week, working closely with their assigned Mentor who will be an experienced and skilled craftsman.

Throughout the training programme, the trainees will be working closely with their Mentor to achieve an NVQ Level 2 in stone masonry preservation skills, together with a programme of accredited heritage building modules which will cover lime plastering, carpentry repairs and other skills necessary to carry out conservation and repair works to churches and ancient monuments.

The Trainees will carry out a variety of conservation and restoration projects on churches, cathedrals and ancient buildings and will cover all learning and assessments onsite. At the end of the training programme they will become qualified and skilled Heritage Building Craftsmen and with the opportunity for subsequent training and internal promotion.

You can read the full article by clicking here.

stone specialist magazine

Bakers Featured in Listed Heritage Mag

Listed Heritage, the membership journal of the Listed Property Owners’ Club has featured one of Bakers of Danbury’s latest projects in its latest magazine.

The November/ December 2021 issue of the Listed Heritage looks at the interesting conservation project recently carried out by Bakers of Danbury Ltd, which involved stone conservation on a private property in Royston. Works included replacement stone quoins, window jambs, surrounds, lintels and window sills where the existing stone had deteriorated beyond repair.

To ensure the new replacement stone matched the existing, Collins and Curtis Masonry Ltd carefully selected Tottenhoe Clunch directly from the quarry and Bakers’ craftsmen measured and made templates of the individual stones which needed to be replaced.

You can find on page 98 by clicking here.

Church Fire Damage Repair

Summary = St John the Baptist Church in Royston was devastated by a fire. Bakers of Danbury have carried out phase one of works which included securing the structure and stripping the fire damaged materials which were beyond repair. Bakers are currently working on the second phase.

Location = Royston, Hertfordshire

Challenge = National lock down due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Solution = Bakers of Danbury were initially tasked with phase one of works which began May 2019 and involved six weeks stripping all fire damaged material and making the structure safe after it had suffered a devastating fire in the early hours of the 9th December 2018.

The fire which started in the tower devastated the tower and bell ringing chamber and caused significant damage to the medieval nave roof, in particular the west end of the roof. The church also suffered from subsequent water damage as a result of extinguishing the fire, which cause the floor to collapse.

After completing phase one of works, Bakers were awarded phase two of works which began at the fire damaged church in February 2020. Later the following month, due to the nature of the works and the confined working space, the project had to be put on hold during the national lock down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In May the works resumed with the introduction of social distancing measures, sensible planning and safe working procedures which were implemented by Bakers' SHEQ Manager, Contract Manager and Site Manager for the project.

During phase two, a new tower roof with steel supporting girders was installed and covered in lead. New window reveals (in Clunch) were installed within the tower and repairs were made to the tower internal walls, particularly at the belfry level where it had been seriously damaged by the instense heat. Within the tower a quatrefoil window was replaced with one handcrafted by Bakers' sister company Collins and Curtis Masonry.

Lower down the tower, Bakers repaired the walls by stitching them with large pieces of Clunch. Re-pointing the stonework further restored and strengthened the tower. New copings in Barnack stone were installed to the tower parapet and new ashlar indents were also incorporated.

To the naive roof, which suffered significant damage, Bakers repaired the original inner wall plate and introduced a new outer wall plate to support the rafters. New rafters were installed where the fired had damaged the original ones beyond repair. Those original principal rafters which were salvaged have been repaired and supported by installing large stainless steel brackets (individual brackets weigh 175 kg each).

All timbers were ice blasted to remove fire and smoke damage, taking particular attention to preserve historical graffiti which although had been damaged by the fire, was still legible. A new lead roof (code 7) will be installed and all rainwater goods will be replaced with cast aluminum. Ice blast cleaning was carried out in isolated areas of the church which suffered fire and smoke damage, for example around the windows and doors. Various cleaning trials have been carried out throughout the interior and exterior of the church.

During phase two the whole intrados belonging to a nave arch, which spans a massive 5 meters, was replaced in Ancaster hard white stone. Phase 3 saw the decision made to also replace the extrados for the same arch as it was severely fire damaged on the tower side. To the naive roof, which suffered significant damage, Bakers repaired the original inner wall plate and introduced a new outer wall plate to support the rafters. New rafters were installed where the fired had damaged the original ones beyond repair. Those original principal rafters which were salvaged have been repaired and supported by installing large stainless steel brackets (individual brackets weigh 175 kg each). St John the Baptist Church in Royston was devastated by a fire. Bakers of Danbury have carried out phases one and two of works which included securing the structure and stripping the fire damaged materials which were beyond repair. Bakers are currently working on the third phase. £800,000 (phases one and two) Royston, Hertfordshire Barker Associates National lock down due to the Covid-19 pandemic Bakers of Danbury were initially tasked with phase one of works which began May 2019 and involved six weeks stripping all fire damaged material and making the structure safe after it had suffered a devastating fire in the early hours of the 9th December 2018.

During phase three of works as the high levels were completed, the scaffold was taken down to work on the lower levels. Bakers removed the fire damaged plaster and re-plastered the walls with a breathable 3 coat lime plaster which consists of a coarse hair coat, scratch coat followed with a fine finish coat. The bottom sections to the pillars that support the arcade (set of arches) which separate the nave from the aisle were replaced in chicksgrove stone. First fix electrics were installed and decoration carried out throughout. Bakers are working in close collaboration with the Project Quantity Surveyor to monitor contract values, variation costs and final contract sum.

To keep up to date on similar conservation projects carried out by Bakers of Danbury visit our Latest News page or the Bakers of Danbury Facebook page.

Restoration of Oldest Church Remains

Summary = Restoration of apsidal remains, said to be the oldest church in Britain.

Location = Colchester, Essex

Challenge = The weather was causing erosion to the original core structure of the walls.

Solution = Restoration works have recently been carried out by Bakers of Danbury Ltd, to the remaining stonework belonging to what is said to be the oldest Christian Church in England.

The remains of the Church next to Colchester Police Station in Essex, are believed to date back to 320 A.D, toward the end of the Roman occupation in Britain. Originally excavated more than 40 years ago, the apsidal remains consist of septarian stone together with reclaimed roman tiles and pamments.

Commissioned by Colchester Borough Council and supported by Colchester Archaeological Trust, Bakers of Danbury’s stonemasons repointed the stone wall foundations with Lime Mortar and restored all visible stonework, using traditional methods which have been handed down generations of the 140-year-old company. Despite the starkness of the pointing against the older, dirtier masonry, Bakers' stonemasons matched the original core mortar as closely as possible.

The recent restoration works will protect the remains for many years to come, by preventing further erosion which can occur when the weather gets into the original core structure of the walls. All oak marker posts which mark the positions of the aisles and partition have been replaced with new.

Philip Wise, Colchester & Ipswich Museums said;

“These works will help to safeguard the future of these important Roman remains for the people of Colchester.”

Although Colchester Archaeological Trust agree the ruins are a “probable Romano-British Church”, the building was associated with two cemeteries one pagan and one Christian, which help support alternative theories around the buildings original use - perhaps later being converted to a Romano-British Church. These theories suggest it may have been originally been a pagan temple, a Roman mithraeum (Roman temple) or a hall for funerary feasts predating AD.320. The remains were awarded Scheduled Monument status by Historic England on 07 October 2020, ref 1470104. For more information visit historicengland.co.uk

To keep up to date on similar conservation projects carried out by Bakers of Danbury visit our Latest News page or the Bakers of Danbury Facebook page.

Westminster Deanery

Summary = A refurbishment and roofing project at Westminster Deanery, which sits within the grounds of Westminster Abbey.

Location = Westminster, London

Challenge = Nationwide Lock down due to the Covid-19 pandemic

Solution = Works continued safely on site during the Covid-19 lockdown, due to sensible planning and safe working procedures put in place on site. Bakers are currently midway through the £1.8 million refurbishment and roofing project at Westminster Deanery, which sits within the grounds of Westminster Abbey.

  • Westminster Deanery roof works
  • Roof works carried out by Bakers involved stripping the existing roof, recasting original lead and re-leading the roof adjacent to the West Towers of the abbey. The pitched tiled roof area was also stripped, with structural repairs undertaken and then retiled with a mix of reclaimed peg tiles and new handmade tiles . A full overhaul of the rainwater goods is also being undertaken, with refurbished cast iron and lead downpipes, hoppers and chutes. Bakers increased the gradient of the roof (compliant with lead sheet association guidelines).

  • Westminster Deanery refurbishment works
  • The entire deanery including a grand function room are being renovated which includes five bedrooms, a kitchen, utility, dining area and the Dean's study and offices, along with two bathrooms and the addition of one new bathroom. Upgraded electrical and mechanical installations are being completed, along with improvements to insulation wherever possible. Full decoration is also being undertaken externally, including the 15th Century elevation being stripped of many layers of paint to reveal the original brickwork façade underneath.

    A new hardwood doorway and canopy will lead to the refurbished garden, which will be landscaped and have new drainage installed before the Deanery is handed back at the end of this year.

    To hear more about this and other projects visit our Latest News page or the Bakers of Danbury Facebook page.

    Westminster School

    Summary =Bakers of Danbury recently built an extension to the Grade I Listed Westminster School. The extension included two entrance lobbies, a new block of visitor w/c, a presentation/ reception room as well as four new offices and meeting rooms for school staff. Bakers also carried out refurbishment and renovation works to six rooms around the perimeter of the new build extension, as well as the installation of a new stairwell and lift.

    Location = Westminster, London

    Challenge =Westminster School is the only ancient school in London which still occupies its original site. The site of the new extension is very closely surrounded by Grade I Listed buildings, some dating back to the 11th century. Access was restricted due to working on a live school.

    Solution = Phase one involved carefully dismantling the modern concrete music center to protect the archaeology below ground and the listed buildings surrounding the site.

    During phase two, Bakers oversaw archaeological excavations,which were carried out in conjunction with Pre-Construct Archaeology. The archaeological excavations uncovered part of the original kitchen to the Monks Abbey dating back to the 11th century.

    A section of the new build floor (within the presentation/ reception room) was later covered with cantilevered glass to create a platform from which to view the archaeology below ground level. Close co-ordination between Bakers, the structural steelwork fabricator and the glass floor manufacturer was required because in some parts the glass floor were only 10mm away from the archaeology. Underfloor lighting and temperature control were installed to help preserve the archaeology.

    During phase three of the project, Bakers used traditional building techniques and materials to create the new build extension. The extension was constructed with handmade bricks, reclaimed tiles and handmade timber and lead light windows, and it's new lead roof which features an oak oval lantern, with complex lead soffit detail was installed.

    External restoration works were carried out to a number of surrounding school buildings together with an internal renovation to six rooms, plant-room and the installation of a new stairwell (with decorative balustrades) and lift. Bakers carried out extensive repointing and cleaning, as well as stone (Burford stone) and brick repair and replacement to the neighbouring Grade I Listed Ashburnham house.

    A full M&E package which covered both the new build extension and existing school buildings included a contractor led design disabled platform lift and a Daliv Control Lighting System which enables separate light settings for different parts of one room. The expansion of the plant-room provided a new heating system to the new extension together with an adaption to the existing school heating system. Landscaping was carried out to Little Deans Yard, which lays the front of Westminster School.

    The project was overseen by Bakers' Contract Manager Chris Norman. Throughout the project, monthly progress meetings took place with the Client, Ptolemy Dean Architects, Structural Engineers, M&E Consultant, Quantity Surveyor, Chris Norman and other representatives from Bakers of Danbury. The Contract Manager, Chris worked in close collaboration with the Project Quantity Surveyor to monitor the overall contract values, variation costs and the final contract sum.

    Less formal weekly meetings with the School Bursar took place with Chris Norman and the Site Manager to maintain communication between the Principal Contractor and Client, also enabling Bakers to organise works around any forthcoming School activities and restrictions. In addition to the Site Manager’s daily inspection of works, Chris Norman held a weekly site meeting with the Site Manager to inspect works, checking quality, health and safety and progress against the project programme.

    Sawston Village College

    Summary = Roof works and internal decoration to two college buildings

    Location = Cambridgeshire

    Challenge = The Grade II Listed buildings had to be protected from the weather whilst the roofs were stripped and replaced

    Solution = The project was divided into two phases and temporary roofs protected the Grade II Listed Henry Morris building during Phase one and the North Wing during Phase two of works.

    Phase one of works to Sawston Village College, an academy school founded in 1930, began April 2019. Works involved the installation of the temporary roof whilst the stripping and re-roofing of the Grade II Listed Henry Morris building took place. The existing pantiles were re-laid to the front elevation of the building and new handmade pantiles were installed to the back.

    Below the roof, the deteriorating lath and plaster ceiling to the main hall was replaced with new, which included the installation of new laths, scratch coat and a finish of thermalime plaster previously approved by the Conservation Officer. Existing facia boards were replaced and the cast iron gutters and downpipes were thoroughly sanded back to metal and painted. The bell tower underwent extensive repairs to the leaded lights, structural timber and boarding.

    The second phase of works included roof works to the North Wing of the College, similar to the roof works to the Henry Morris building. All roof works and internal decoration was completed in time to hand back to the College for the new Academic New Year.