Hall Houses and Engine Houses

by Hannah Reynolds

The week began with an interesting day spent surveying and understanding the structure of The Sun Inn, Saffron Walden alongside previous SPAB Scholar and engineer Steve Wood

The 14th -century hall house (later a coaching inn) is owned by SPAB Technical Director Douglas Kent. Douglas was on hand to explain the history of the building as well as the conservation and repair works he has been painstakingly undertaking for the past 10 years. To read more about his work on the house visit Douglas’ blog.

We then jumped in the car for the long journey south towards London. The car for our countrywide conservation tour has been provided by Jonathan Castleman of Norman and Underwood.

Next up was a visit to Witherford Watson Mann Architects. We visited one of their current projects at Walthamstow Wetlands – the 19th -century Marine Engine House, which will become a “Water and Life” visitor centre, educational resource and café overlooking views of the reservoirs.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

William Mann also spent several hours talking us through their other exciting projects. We were delighted to be able to discuss in depth their now Stirling Prize winning project at Astley Castle, which we were so lucky to have stayed in earlier in the Scholarship courtesy of The Landmark Trust.

From here we spent a day with architect Andrew Townsend and Minerva Stone Conservation, where we were able to get hands on with the stone conservation and re-pointing of an historic bridge in Lacock.

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The week concluded with two days in the company of the engineer and architect team, Blackett-Ord Conservation in Cumbria. Here we had a wonderful visit to the workshop of the Cumbria Clock Company.

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We saw the conservation works at Yanworth Hall, an outstanding medieval tower, and spent a day on-site with conservation contractor Matthais Garn, and the Fellows, at Hawes Church.

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