The second was to reveal the fine medieval chamber inside, but to maintain its disguise on the outside by preserving the additions made to it in about 1680. This meant removing an attic floor and the upper section of a chimney, and renewing a missing truss at the south end as a gable, breaking intriguingly through the front slope of the roof.
As the ground floor had always been divided the lower stage of the chimney could be kept, with its fireplace on one side and ovens on the other. It also supports a ring-beam of reinforced concrete which the engineers advised forming around the front half of the building. This anchors steel ties running through the wall to plates on the outside, holding the two skins of stone together. The original design of the south front was restored at the same time by removing a porch and some brick buttresses.
Repair of the medieval wing was more complicated, the idea being to keep new timber to a minimum. Only where an element was visually or structurally essential was it renewed - where a section of collar-beam had been cut away for the chimney, for example, or where part of the northern tie beam had rotted. In two cases where joints had failed, steel plates were inserted to hold the truss, rather than go in for wholesale renewal. In this way just about everything visible is medieval workmanship.
In the wall frames, some panels of both original and 17th century wattle and daub survived. These were kept if possible, and new wattle and daub was formed around them. The traditional method of mixing the daub was used, complete with cow dung. Inside, the panels were finished with a coat of lime-hair plaster, leaving the timber frame exposed. Outside, however, tradition was departed from. For reasons both of strength and economy the walls were clad in weather-boarding. This is usually found on barns in Herefordshire, but is occasionally seen on houses, and there was in fact some already at Shelwick Court.
The great chamber did not originally have a fireplace, but it was felt that one would be desirable now, so a new chimney was built against its western wall. The oak floorboards are also new. Surviving 17th century mullion and transom windows were retained at either end.
In the rooms below, medieval framing has been exposed. Fragments of a medieval window were uncovered in the wall between the bedroom and the entrance hall. In the south room a beam with painted decoration was discovered, apparently dating from the late 1500s. The beam itself was in poor condition so the painted surface was cut off and applied to a new composite beam which supports the new ceiling. The decoration itself was cleaned and consolidated. New windows were fitted in the north room, and new softwood floors in both.
Round the staircase and south-west wing the walls were repaired on the same principles as the east wing, and then the weather-boarding carried on round. Two 17th-century windows survived intact on the staircase, the small top one still with its original glass and lead. The stair itself was repaired with new oak and its 19th-century balusters were replaced with more simple ones.
Inside this part of the building, while the rooms all have new partitions, traditional materials were used - lime-hair plaster and limewash on the walls; salvaged stone flags or quarry tiles on the floors. Throughout the house as many old doors as possible were reused. The glass for the new windows comes from 19th century greenhouses. The roof above is covered in salvaged clay plain tiles. In this way, a harmony between new and old is achieved.