With this award, we have appointed Ilkley-based Dobson Construction Ltd and together our project team will soon commence work while we seek the remaining £77,000 needed to secure the total project cost. The two-year project will bring Calverley Old Hall off the Heritage At Risk Register, safeguarding it for future generations.
Dobson Construction Ltd is a long-established Yorkshire firm with extensive historic buildings experience and a strong record of training apprentices in traditional heritage skills. On their appointment, the team comment:
‘Trading in excess of 50 years Dobson Construction have a track record of having been entrusted by numerous Clients to undertake heritage and conservation schemes to the highest standard. We are delighted to have been appointed by the Landmark Trust to undertake the works at Calverley Hall and to be part of the team to ensure the survival of this building, together with its history, for future generations.’
Dobson Construction join the team led by Cowper Griffith Architects, appointed by Landmark in 2017 following an international architectural competition. On this next phase of work, the Cambridge-based practice reflect:
‘Cowper Griffith Architects is an established practice with over 40 years of experience in both contemporary architecture and the conservation of historic buildings. Our portfolio of completed projects includes many designs which bring together the preservation of historic fabric with contemporary interventions. Calverley is an extraordinary example of this process, challenging us as designers to resolve the history of continuous change, now expressed in ruinous but rich detail. We hope to make the social history and architectural detail of the development of the Old Hall discernable & legible to the Landmarkers who come to stay.
'Preliminary investigations have revealed exceptional medieval wall paintings, beautiful timber and stone fragments of former openings and structures and many layers of historic development from its C12 origins. Our designs restore the original plan of the building, uncovering the principal rooms and circulation patterns of the family Manor house, buried under the many changes made during its long history. It is not our intention to restore a conjectural restoration of the medieval house however, but rather to enjoy the surprising & delightful contradictions that have occurred throughout its history. The largely domestic cottage elevations presented on arrival give no hint of the exceptional character and detailing of the Great Hall, the Chapel and the Solar, all of which can now be traced in detail. As well as the physical fabric we also hope to reveal the original quality of the light within the spaces, the rich worn patina of the surfaces, the occasionally eccentric repairs over the centuries and perhaps the atmosphere and rare quality of the silence that may be found within houses of a great age.’