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Steepwood Bungalow, Adversane Lane, Billinghurst
West Sussex
United Kingdom


Historic Building Conservation Matters Blog

Find out about what we've been doing at HBC&R and our thoughts on building conservation matters.


Roland Locke

In the last few months we have been working on a number of widely differing historic properties.

Over the summer we completed the work on the fabulous, fourteenth century,former open hall house and we were delighted with the finished result. The owners were equally pleased and have invited us back to do more work next spring. It is always a source of great pride for us to get to return to a building we have worked on and continue the conservation. With its newly finished exterior, carefully returned to its former glory, we like to think that the house would now be once more be recognisable  to former medieval occupents We are also honoured that the current owners have allowed us to make their Peaselake home our flagship property.Pictures with the lovely new lime wash will follow shortly1

We have done brick work repairs to two later but listed of historic importance, homes in Chobham and Brockham. Both had suffered from inappropriate cementitious repairs that had caused further spalling of the bricks and the damage had resulted in water ingress. Neither were our usual line of work but both still required the relevant skills and techniques to conserve them and as a result the houses now look much improved and have happy owners.

Then we have done brick and timber repairs, to the only remaining historic section of a purportedly seventeenth century house which has been a bit of an anigma,we had been unsure of its true origins within moments of beginning our original condition survey earlier in the year. During the initial stages of work, we began to suspect even more strongly that what we were conserving was far more likely to be later, probably early eighteenth century and had most likely  begun its life as a barn! Whilst removing some large chunks of cement in one extreme upper gable end, I found a considerable quantity of wheat on the stalk, barley on the stalk and hay. which did lend weight to the barn theory. As I worked on the removal of cement to the brick panel margins, stave mortices and mullion holes were revealed in some of the under sides of timbers and a bricked up former window. I love making little discoveries like that! Clearly there had been wattle and daub panels at some point, although not necessarily in that building as a lot of the timbers were re used. The brick panels were mainly of a herringbone design, which was nice to re build where required. The timbers, were repaired by removing as little material as possible or patch and surface repairs. With new appropriate, non hydraulic lime mortar and margins, the rear of the house is looking great again. Another job well done and more happy clients.