We have been invited to develop a bespoke palette of materials for the repair and restoration of a 16th century manor house at the foot of the South Downs.
The building is Grade II* listed and was extended at the beginning of the 20th century by renowned arts and crafts architect Edwyn Lutyens.
The house sits on the boundary between the chalk of the Downs and the clay and woods of the Low Weald and this is reflected in the historic construction materials and structure.
Some of the original interior walls are made from chalk daub and we are developing a range of chalk-based mortars that are bound with plant material from the garden and neighboring farms.
We propose to use repair materials gleaned from a tight radius around the site, so that new works on the house are sympathetic with the historic fabric and patterns of the wider landscape. Having produced a conservation survey of the condition of the interiors, we have also mapped, researched and tested these local material possibilities.
We often work in sensitive sites of ecological or historical conservation interest, or in landscapes where a building or garden must have minimal visual impact on its surroundings – using materials and plants that reflect the geological and ecological richness of a place, or employing traditional techniques based on local knowledge of materials. This is essential to the success of a project and can also improve prospects for planning applications.
Project: 16th Century Manor house, East Sussex
Date: 2019 – ongoing