Branch Day School 19th October 2012
See October 2012 Newsletter
IHBC South East Branch visit to Hadlow Tower
Wednesday 13th June 2012
On one of the few warm and sunny evenings of the so called summer of 2012 the IHBC South East branch organised an evening visit to see the ongoing restoration work to the Hadlow Tower in Kent.
The remarkable Grade I listed building, built in 1838 in brick clad in Roman cement, is all that remains of the 18th century Gothick Hadlow Castle. The 50 metre high tower was built as a rival to the tower at Fonthill, near Bath, which collapsed soon after construction, leaving Hadlow as the tallest such structure in Britain. After the Second World War the tower started to fall into a serious state of decay, despite still being used as a private residence. This was compounded by damage caused by the 1987 storm, after which the top lantern storey was removed (fortunately with some of the decorative moulding being kept in storage).
r was compulsorily purchased by Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council and has now been sold on to the Vivat Trust who are converting it to create holiday accommodation, with financial assistance from the HLF. The evening tour kicked off with an introduction from Geoff Pearson of Tonbridge and Malling BC and Jeremy Stone of Greenwwoods Projects, the project managers. The fascinating and informative tour of the site compound and the many levels of scaffolding, right to the breathtaking views from the top, was lead by Paul Sharrock of Thomas Ford and Partners, who are the architects of the restoration and conversion scheme. Paul explained the complexities of using natural Roman cement for repairing the structure and fabricating elaborate moulding detail as it is incredibly fast drying. The complicated project involves the reinstatement of the lost lantern to the top of the tower, much of the decoration to the outer shell and the insertion of new floors, a lift shaft and services for bathrooms etc.
Members learned a great deal about the materials used and the many issues involved with the conversion scheme. It is a highly successfully solution to a difficult problem of what to do with a historically and architecturally unique building, and we look forward to taking up the invitation of a return visit to see the completed work in 2013.
Branch SeminarHeritage Crime Initiative
Held on 10th November 2010 at the Joiners Shop, Chatham Historic Dockyard
Presentation viewer, this is a large file, please be patientThe Annual Day School, “Material Considerations – Stone and stone working in the South East”
turned out a su
ccessful day. The welcome number of delegates were treated to informed and entertaining lectures and an afternoon trip to the working Philpots Quarry in West Hoathley, West Sussex.
The Ashdown Forest Centre provided the venue in a pleasant sylvan setting in the High Weald. Their education barn provided just enough space and comfort and the distraction of a twelve foot high purple forest fairy. Luckily the speakers were able to hold their audiences attention. The morning session was chaired by Andrew Norris who was instrumental in organising the first two speakers, Roger Birch and Paul Sowan.
Roger Birch, a geologist and lecturer at the University of Sussex, talked about the different types of stone present in the south east. He explained the geology of the region, how it had been created and why it appears as it does today. He spoke in some detail of various types of stone such as Sussex marble, a limestone that can be highly polished and Horsham Stone, a very site specific fine-grained, compact, calcareous sandstone
that is used in an area around Horsham, West Sussex as a roofing and paving material. Interestingly Roger spoke of the importance of historic buildings to geologists as the only practical source of studying regional stone as there are so few opportunities to study it in the field, as it were. The lack of quarries and mines still being worked is a problem for those trying to match and procure stone for restoration and extension projects and Roger talked a little about the properties of the different types of stone and there similarities across the region.
Paul Sowan, another geologist by training and a practising industrial archaeologist spoke in general about the geology of the Lower and Upper Greensand formations and specifically about the important Reigate stone quarry in Merstham. Reigate stone was used in such important buildings as Windsor Castle, Hampton Court and Westminster Abbey and Paul has collaborated with Historic Royal Palaces in researching the Reigate stone quarries of southeast England. We learnt how in the medieval period the stone merchants had to make the arduous journey to London across the marshes and claggy clays of Surrey. Despite coming a distance of
only 18 miles, Reigate stone was as expensive as stone coming from the continent due to the difficulty in transporting it over land. Paul showed us slides of the quarries and the tortuous routes of some of the shafts and tunnels. A theme of the morning talks was the uncertainty of stone seams in this part of the world. Those quarrying the stone could not be as confident as their colleagues in the more famous stone areas of the country as to how much stone they could expect from a seam. In many instances what looked like a rich seam initially only lasted several hundred metres before disappearing. The Reigate stone quarries are extensive and the extent of the tunnels and shafts is not fully mapped.
There was a break in the subject of stone to hear an update from Nigel Barker on the reality of PPS5. This was a well received talk as there were many interested individuals from both sides of the planning sector in the audience. Nigel ran through the most relevant policies and concentrated on HE9:Additional policy principles guiding the consideration of applications for consent relating to designated
heritage assets. Doubt has arisen about the meaning of the words substantial harm. Nigel used the example of an argument put forward by a developer arguing that the loss of an unlisted building in a London conservation area, albeit of some interest, did not amount to substantial harm to the c.a. as the designated asset, as it was one building of many. Nigel considered this argument dangerous and not in the intention of the PPS. Thankfully the inspector hearing the appeal understood the significance of their decision in light of the age of the PPS and considered the specific harm of the loss of this building rather than the overall affect on the conservation area as a whole. Policy HE9.2 asks that one of two points have to be met otherwise local planning authorities should refuse consent. The second point is divided into four parts and all four parts need to be met before a L.P.A. can consider granting permission. Nigel spoke of a forthcoming clarification note on this policy from English Heritage.
The day went very well with everything trying in and everyone leaving happy and a little more knowledgeable. Thanks go to all who helped organise the day and make it such a success.
Branch visit to the Brooking Collection
Charles Brooking gave a thoroughly interesting, informative and amusing talk on A History of Windows at Cranleigh Arts Centre on the 23rd June 2010. His talk was well illustrated by items brought from his personal collection just down the road. Charles started with examples of metal windows from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and explained the technology of glass production. He moved onto explaining the reasons behind the in
troduction and evolution of the sash window both from a technological and fashion influenced perspective. We were shown examples of early sash boxes with were hollowed from solid timber and told to look out for heads and sills that met the timber reveals as an indication of an early age. This is in comparison with later composite sash boxes where the heads and sills extended across the whole face of the window frame.
Charles is infamous for his collection of sash pulleys and these proved to be a particularly interesting subject. We were shown all manner of designs from beautifully crafted mid eighteenth century examples used in Robert Adam designed buildings, to patented pulleys with ball bearings and roller bearings to mass produced examples of dubious quality ubiquitous in the late nineteenth century. Charles is currently working on a typology of sash pulleys to help identify window age. We were also shown examples of timber sashes and enjoyed the beautiful craftsmanship of the joiner. Interestingly Charles told us that historically sash runs had been polished not painted and subsequent redecoration often continued through this area and increased the resistance of the sashes in their runs. This often led to them being difficult to operate and seen as a redundant design.
As we were so close to Charles's museum we were invited back to view the collection and this was a very enjoyable end to the evening. Charles currently has to move The Brooking Collection from its current home at a University of Greenwich site to a new home. This is proving stressful for a number of reasons. The branch was able to provide a donation of the profits of the event to the moving fund and several participants gave personal donations. If you are interested in donating to the fund or in Charles giving a talk please contact him on 01483 274 203.
Report on Branch Visit to the Eleanor Cross, Charing Cross, London
few members of the branch, plus some extras from the London Branch, enjoyed a visit to see the work to clean and restore the Eleanor Cross outside Charing Cross Station in London, which is nearing completion after several years (mostly due to protracted negotiations with the owners, Network Rail).
The cross was built in 1865
to a design by EM Barry, which was itself based on the Martyr’s Memorial in Oxford by George Gilbert Scott. The original, smaller cross, which stood in what became Trafalgar Square, was erected by Edward I following the death of his wife, Eleanor in 1290. A series of crosses were erected between Lincoln and London at each place where her coffin stopped overnight, the last one being in central London, before her interment in Westminster Abbey. The cross was demolished during the Civil War.
The project to restore the cross is being carried out by PAYE Stonework, who has also been involved with other prestigious projects such as the restoration of the Albert Memorial, The Treasury Building and the Tower of London. The cross, which
is constructed of Portland limestone with panels of red Mansfield sandstone and Aberdeen
granite, is being cleaned o
f a century and a half of grime. Later poor quality cement based repairs are being removed, vegetation is being cleared and some of the worst areas of decayed stone are being recut.
We were given the chance to climb the ten levels of scaffolding to the very top to the gilded cross and then worked our way down seeing more and more of the wonderfully intricate carving. We saw the stonemasons at work and chatted to them and the project supervisors about the project. Everyone in the group was very impressed with the quality of the historic carving and detailing and also with the very high quality of the work by PAYE.
Our thanks go to PAYE for allowing the visit.Peter Mills
Lecture notes on
The Cultural Olympiad in the South East
held on Thursday 6th August 2009
A seminar presentation by Caterina Loriggio, Creative Programmer for London 2012.Download notes (PDF)
Report on recent visit to Inns of Court
We were treated to a very interesting tour around three of the four Inns of Court by two barristers resident at No.6 Pump Court. Anne Williams and Megan Thomas both practise planning and environmental law and were able to give us a good understanding of what goes on behind the various elegant and sumptuous façades seen on our walk. The Inns originated as hostels and schools for student lawyers and even today there are rooms for rent to lawyers needing to stay the night. Many of these are on the higher floors of the chamber buildings with the offices on the lower floors. Some of us were surprised at the level of public access to the Inns especially as many of them have imposing gates that are locked at night. The Inns offer a special kind of sanctuary from the bustle and noise of the City once inside so I would recommend anyone take a stroll through t
hese very interesting places. The first Inn we visited was Lincoln’s Inn. The Inn has records going back to 1422 and is known to have occupied the present site from 1442. The oldest surviving building is the Old Hall dating to 1489-92 and the Gatehouse (early 16th C.) on Chancery Lane. We managed to visit the Old Hall, Great Hall and Library (Philip Hardwick & Philip Charles Hardwick finished 1845) thanks to Megan, our guide, who was able to gain us access. We were taken back to Middle Temple via the Royal Courts of Justice, built between 1873 and 1882 and designed by George Edmund Street. One member of our group stated that it was the cathedral he was never allowed to build! Once back across The Strand we visitedTemple Church, built by the Knights Templar in the late 12thC. and the reason behind the area’s name. The area had once been a large
monastic complex on the edge of the City. Unfortunately it suffered much damage during the Blitz and has been largely rebuilt although the character of the area was carefully considered and the replacement buildings were carefully designed to blend with the survivors. There was no desire for modern architectural statements here after the war. Some historic buildings did survive and we were again allowed into a r
estricted building, Middle Temple Hall, thanks to Anne. As we were beginning to understand the life of the London lawyer is all about contacts and connections. Middle Temple Hall is most famous for the place Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night received its first performance in 1602. It was not immune from the war and we were able to understand the level of destruction brought by the Luftwaffe as several photographs on the wall recorded the aftermath of the night air raids. Our evening finished in Chambers with refreshments provided by the inhabitants of No.6 Pump Court and we were entertained by the amusing anecdotes of our hosts. I would like to thank everyone who made us welcome but especially Anne and Megan.
Heritage Partnership Agreements - The Rochester Pilot Study
The South East branch organised a conference about the new Heritage Partnership Agreements on 17th October 2007. Rochester cathedral is a pilot study for these new partnerships and the opportunity was taken to explore what is involved and how they will work. Peter Kendall’s Powerpoint presentation to the conference is accessible by clicking here? (opens in new window)
The proposed Heritage Protection Reforms include a new type of “Heritage Partnership Agreement” between owners, managers, Councils and English Heritage that will cut time-consuming consent administration and encourage strategic management of large sites.Owners of sites such as large estates, which have many similar assets under single management, will be able to avoid the need for multiple consent applications.
English Heritage will help negotiate single consent agreements for sites that stretch across many local authority boundaries, such as stations on underground lines.
Consent can be provided in advance for a large number of agreed works on complex sites such as university campuses and housing estates. Owners of archaeological sites under cultivation would be able to take part in a management agreement allowing them to be able to work protected land.
There has been an increasing appreciation in the heritage sector of the potential of management agreements that set out guidelines for the management of a historic site or monument over a given period. The forerunner of these is the agreement brokered in 1993 by Ipswich Borough Council, in conjunction with English Heritage, for the Willis Corroon building in Ipswich. There have been others since, notably a recent agreement for the Barbican in London. For the archaeological
environment, management agreements are well established.
The government was not breaking entirely new ground, therefore, when it set out in The Way Forward the view that in future ‘statutory management agreements could be employed wherever that approach would work better than the system of individual specific consents’. To test the proposals set out in The Way Forward the government asked English Heritage to undertake a number of pilot studies. The pilot studies include both Rochester Cathedral and Canterbury Cathedral. These began in 2003 and where appropriate have explored the potential of statutory management agreements – currently named Heritage Partnership Agreements (HPAs).
As the pilots progressed, ideas and questions developed about how HPAs might work in practice, their form and when they might be used. Part of the assessment of HPAs involves understanding what benefits they might bring. This is the crucial question for potential signatories to agreements: can HPAs help them more efficiently to manage the heritage environment? The pilot projects show that the communication involved in setting up a partnership helps to develop a beneficial relationship that will stand all in good stead. HPAs should bring clarity, so that all parties understand how the site will be managed over the period of the agreement.