Meanwhile the architect Philip Jebb, together with Landmark’s founder John Smith, was drawing up designs for the new rooms to be added behind the façade. As before there was to be one large saloon running through two stories, but otherwise it was to be an entirely new work of Classical architecture. A new staircase was planned for the north side of the loggia, to be linked to the other side of the building by a gallery across the saloon, which would give a new and exciting view of it. The bathrooms could go in the smaller rooms to the south of the loggia, leaving the new larger rooms on either side of the saloon free for the kitchen and bedrooms.
First however considerable repairs to the old structure were necessary and urgent. The pediment was leaning outwards and one of the kneelers forming the left-hand end of the pediment was missing altogether. The contractor, Linford-Bridgeman, fitted a huge wooden template to hold the arch while the roof was stripped, its purlins and rafters repaired and the apex of the pediment taken down and rebuilt. Steel ties, running from front to back, were inserted to hold the pediment in place. The plaster vault was falling, with the plaster skin pulling away from the vault structure itself: while this was repaired the connection between the walls and the vault was temporarily broken and the vault was jacked up and then refixed, suspended by ties from the roof structure.
New openings were made into the new buildings from the side rooms on the ground floor and the central doorway into the loggia was unblocked. The doors themselves are of course all new. New door openings had to be made between the side rooms on the first floor and the new addition, but the original openings were left visible, with new surrounds copied from the fragments of the old. Some surviving sections of the old cornice were retained, and missing areas were made up with new to match. The dummy windows in the façade were unblocked, in order to light the ground-floor rooms and new frames and sashes were provided for the existing window openings on the first floor.
The decorative plaster was badly cracked and broken, with some sections missing altogether. As much as possible was carefully fixed back into position, so that in the end only about 10% had to be renewed – something that at the start had looked an impossibility. The vault was then limewashed and lead fixed to the architrave and cornice to keep rainwater out.
Some stonework was renewed for structural reasons, but much more was saved and simply rebedded and the temptation to replace worn stones was resisted. The brickwork was repointed, but only where the old mortar had failed. The building therefore still looks its age, but is now sound in wind and limb and stands ready among the trees to welcome its 21st-century guests.