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Your support has already made a real difference to the preservation and enjoyment of the UK’s architectural heritage.

  • Astley Castle

    Nuneaton, Warwickshire

    SAVED £2.72m raised

     

    Astley Castle, Nuneaton, Warwickshire

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Astley Castle, Nuneaton, Warwickshire

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    Astley Castle, Nuneaton, Warwickshire

Over 2011, Astley Castle’s imaginative architectural scheme took shape and we have been excited to witness the new building emerging from within the ruins. The underfloor heating (supplied via three air source heat pumps) was installed in autumn 2011, prior to tiling and flooring. Timber partitions were put in place and the new staircase installed.

 

Work on the castle structure is now complete and our furnishings team is hard at work on the interiors, including installing the new kitchen. Whilst this is happening, Midland Conservation will be hard at work rebuilding, repairing and repointing the curtain wall, where at least two sections have collapsed in years gone by. As we are using lime mortars we have had to wait for milder weather to start this work.

 

Within the moated site at Astley, landscaping is almost finished. A team of volunteers have helped plant the new knot garden and with help from the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers, trails outside the moated site have also been created which follow the ancient landscape around Astley Castle, including the church, lake and former pleasure grounds. Interpretation boards have been placed along these trails.

 

Astley Castle opened for bookings in February and celebrations to mark the opening are being planned for July. We look forward to welcoming the supporters of the project to these very special events.

 

Find out more about Astley Castle




  • The Warren House

    Kimbolton, Cambridgshire

    SAVED £610,000 raised

     

    The Warren House, Cambridgeshire

    By August 2011 we had secured the funds needed to save this fine Grade II* listed warrener’s cottage perched on a hill top overlooking Kimbolton Castle in Cambridgeshire.

     

     

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    The Warren House, Cambridgeshire

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    The Warren House, Cambridgeshire

As the appeal was nearing its target, we made an early start on site, and the building was fully scaffolded in preparation. The first task was to strip off the failing external render to enable repairs to the underlying timber frame.

 

The roof repairs on this previously fragile structure were completed in autumn 2011 and the renovation of the timber-framed walls was carried out. The ground floor room was originally used to store the warrener’s equipment and valuable pelts; repairing its walls, we found that ‘heavyduty’ wattle had been used, probably for added security against intruders.

 

The walls of the new rear extension, which contain the kitchen and bathroom, have been constructed using hempcrete, a lightweight and environmentally-friendly material which is exceptionally mouldable and has a relatively high insulation value. The cottage’s limecrete floor was laid in January 2012 and work has continued apace since then. One of our major challenges has been getting a mains electric supply, but this has been resolved, and final touches, including internal joinery and decoration, are now being made before The Warren House opens as a Landmark in July. Opening events are scheduled for August and we look forward to seeing you there.

 

Find out more about The Warren House




  • The Shore Cottages

    Berriedale, Caithness

    SAVED £610,000 raised

     

    Shore Cottages, Caithness

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    The Shore Cottages, Caithness

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    The Shore Cottages, Caithness

Offering a contrast with the grandeur of Astley Castle, progress at the humble Shore Cottages in Berriedale, Caithness is also proceeding rapidly. Work to create two Landmarks is being led by two of our own craftsmen, supplemented by local, specialist contactors. One of the challenges of this project was getting the materials down to the site from the main road and a special temporary barge was created to ferry bulky items across the river to the cottages.

 

The pointing of the external masonry is now complete and the cottages are being limewashed as the weather has improved. Internally, the drainage was put in, underfloor heating coils were laid before Christmas and the original stone flags were salvaged and laid through the whole of the smaller Landmark. During work to the rear of the cottages, we uncovered the original cobbled path. We had planned to place the drainage along the back of the building, but have now re-routed it in order not to disturb this path, which will be left exposed. Internally, a start has been made on the timber carcassing for the joinery panelling, and the first fix plumbing and electrics is complete. Our site manager is also on constant watch for a photo opportunity of the aurora borealis, which can be spectacular from this part of Scotland.

 

Samples of the proposed joinery panelling have been approved by the conservation officer and the team is now busy getting 4,000 linear metres of this timber board cut. Windows have been similarly approved and are being manufactured locally. We were able to save three of the original interior doors to place in the smaller cottage, and all other doors and joinery will be made to match those original remnants as closely as possible. The Shore Cottages are due to open in August, with opening events in September, and we are sure their stunning location and proximity to the sea will make them two fine additions to our portfolio.

 

Find out more about The Shore Cottages



We still need your help...

 

Belmont, Lyme Regis

Your support can make a real difference to the preservation and enjoyment of the UK’s architectural heritage. Our current appeals have already motivated many to donate. We hope you will join them.

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