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The Institute of Historic Building Conservation


The mark of the conservation Professional


IHBC South East Branch

East Sussex, Kent, Surrey, West Sussex
  • Officers
  • Event reports
  • Future events
  • Papers
  • Newsletters
  • HPAs - The Rochester Pilot Study
Tab 1
Chair - Duncan Philips duncan@listedbuildingsurveys.co.uk
Vice Chair - position vacant
Branch Representative on Council - Sanne Roberts southeast@ihbc.org.uk
Secretary - Clare Dales clare@claredales.com
Treasurer - Lone Le Vay lone@levay.plus.com
Membership - Eimear Murphy emurphy2@me.com
Surrey rep - position vacant
Kent Rep - Ollie Chapman oliver@historicbuildingsadvisors.com
West and East Sussex Rep - Sanne Roberts Sanne.Roberts@brighton-hove.gov.uk
Officers Without Portfolio -
Jo Evans
jo@evans1812.freeserve.co.uk
Jason Clemons
clemons1807@gmail.com
Duncan Philips
duncan@listedbuildingsurveys.co.uk
Tab 2
IHBC Annual School 2016 report - People Power: Catalyst for Change
South East Branch visit to Chatham Historic Dockyard
Friday 26th June 2015
Knowing Knole
Conservation Philosophy and its application at Knole House
IHBC South East Branch Day School and AGM Stag Community Arts Centre, London Road, Sevenoaks TN13 1ZZ
Friday 4th October 2013, 9.30am – 4.30pm

Download minutes

Visit reports and pictures ..

IHBC AGM Review 2013
By Louise Priestman

The IHBC South East’s AGM was held on the 4
th October 2013 at The Stag Theatre in Sevenoaks. As part of the day long event a series of lectures were presented in the morning, prior to the annual meeting review, followed by an afternoon of tours at Knole House in Sevenoaks.
The first presentation was given by Russell Harper, who has recently published a book on the history of Sevenoaks. The presentation showed us various slides of photographs and drawings of the town, dating as far back as the 1700’s. This gave us an insight and understanding as to how the town has evolved.
There was clear evidence that although there were a large number of historical buildings lost, particularly during the 1960’s and 1970’s, what has remained is the historical footprint of the town. The talk gave a different perspective on the history of towns and how it is not just buildings that form the character and essence of an area.
The second talk was by Richard Hill, a project manager from The National Trust. Richard gave us an introduction to Knole house, its history and the challenges presented with such a vast building. Despite the National Trust acquiring Knole in 1946, the former Lord Sackville-West was keen to see repairs completed after he had passed thus leading to the further deterioration of the property. However, the National Trust has since been given the go ahead and a fund of £20 million has been achieved to ensure the appropriate level of repair is given, as well as updating necessary facilities.
Richard continued the discussion with mentioning the key agents of destruction for Knole which included:
- Snow
- Water
- People
- Light
All these elements have been in some way to blame for the poor condition of Knole, be it the heavy loads of snow on the roof, or light damaging the fine Stuart furniture. Moisture has also contributed to areas of the property having as high as 98% humidity, which leads to the damage of the fabric of the building.
All these issues had to be tackled during the repair of Knole. The National Trust philosophy with Knole was the minimal intervention approach, meaning most timbers requiring repair were spliced rather than wholly replaced as well as, as many of the tiles being kept and reused during roofing repairs.
Despite conservation being at its peak in terms of using appropriate materials and outlooks for the repair of old buildings, there are still areas causing controversy. An example is The National Trust have decided to use bituminous roofing felt due to the concerns of the Bat specialists; reports have been published on breathable felts causing bats to get caught up and subsequently dying. As the building very much needs to breathe, other methods have been taken into consideration for the roof including ensuring there are other methods of ventilation.
The final talk was presented by Tom Foxall from English Heritage. The talk focused on the philosophy of the restoration of the old barn at Knole, which roof and gable ends collapsed by fire in the 1800’s and the philosophy behind the new tea rooms.
The old barn is to be converted into the new conservation studios for knole. This is something that will be unique to Knole and will not only offer immediate facilities for the repair of many of the pieces of furniture, but will also give visitors the opportunity to see how items are conserved, so they may get a better understanding of the technologies and knowledge involved.
The old barn is currently used for storage and now has a crenelated wall surrounding the lower roof which is made of steel and timber. There have been many debates into how the barn should be converted and it was agreed that due to the nature of the site being most famously known for its ‘village like’ design, its materials and style very much being informed by its previous ages, that the barn should follow suit.
There is a great deal of evidence surrounding the history of the barn and what it looked like, giving a good precedence for the proposal of a gabled roof. There was also a need to bring back the roof height to allow the necessary room for the conservation facilities. Several options were submitted as part of a feasibility scheme. There were proposals including glazing the gable ends or to simply replace with a flat roof. However, after much debate it was decided that the building should sit sensitively to its surroundings and thus rebuilt stone gables were more in keeping.
The new tea rooms were again subject to great debate as to how Knole should move forward in providing suitable facilities for its visitors. The current facilities have very poor flow and does not provide for the amount of visitors visiting. Several schemes were put forward and the winning design was a flat roofed L shaped construction which abuts the existing wall of the yard. As there is very little historical evidence of what existed within the yard, it was agreed that a contemporary structure that snugly fit within the surroundings would be the most preferable option.
The proposal gives a better flow, more serving and dining space which would be beneficial for all. The low roofs would also minimise the view of the extension thus not hindering the philosophy of Knole as a village like development.

It was fascinating to hear the various professional bodies speak and how they have come to the certain conclusions needed for the regeneration and conservation of Knole as well as hearing the history of Sevenoaks. It seems even to this day tough decisions are still having to be made on what is right for our heritage. There will always be conflicting opinions onto what is right or wrong, but with the level of detail put into the future of Knole it is hard to think anything other than this building will long remain a key part of our heritage and remain a place for people to enjoy, reflect and love.



Knowing Knole
IHBC South East Branch Afternoon Tours
By Gianni Simone

Knole's scale could be compared to a medieval town. We were told how the roofscape alone covers over 7acres; it is surely a significant and mammoth challenge to repair.
After a legacy of under investment a successful bid to The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has been announced. £7.75million of grant money given to the National Trust will enable them to repair the show rooms, put in environmental controls and get visitors enthused with the site. This should secure the future of one of the largest houses in England.
The National Trust faces an expensive battle with rain, damp, mould and insects on and in the building and its collections. Now, with funding their planned 5 year transformation can begin to take shape. They can tackle emergency repairs and challenge nature's harmful intervention.

Tour 1 : interior of House ( conservation approaches)
In the main show rooms, by carefully removing panelling and insulating behind at both wall and ceiling level the aim is to control the humidity to protect the collections. Damp mould and active death watch all need to be tackled by repairing and insulating the rooms, thermally heating the collections and experimenting with hidden heat mats. These ideas were presented by the project teams as proposals to counteract the listed problems. Upgrading the internal and external fabric will preserve Knole's objects in the best possible conditions. Humidity is a really big challenge for the development team.
The planned works will allow the public to see previously unseen rooms. We had the privilege of exploring many of these, including the servants quarters, attic spaces, the gatehouse tower and the Retainers Gallery- which is a fine example of a long gallery with highly ornate plasterwork on the ceiling; it runs across the top of Knole and was a high status room used by the Sackville family in previous centuries.

Tour 2 : Exterior and roof ( stepped access to scaffold )
One of the high priorities is the outside fabric to ensure the roofs and windows are wind and water tight
. Repairs to the roof require the removal of the tiles and cement render from the facade of the east range. Removing the render has allowed archaeologists to record in detail the timber frame structure. This work enables a better understanding of the different building phases. The cement has now been replaced with a lime render, that work is due to finish in November and will allow the house to breath.
The tour enabled us to ascend the towering scaffold and admire the surroundings. It boasted thousands of Kent peg tiles and an uninterrupted view of the 1000 acre park and the neighbouring countryside.
Tour 3 : Stable Barn ( new study and cafe spaces)
Currently uninspiring and underused, Knole's old tithe barn is to be developed to enhance its significance. By transforming it into a conservation studio and an activity centre in the hay loft, public will be able to access and develop heritage skills and crafts through a variety of hands-on courses. They will learn firsthand how experts carry out painstaking conservation on furniture, paintings and other treasures from the house’s collection.
A sympathetic yet contemporary extension is planned for the Brewhouse Tearoom It aims to serve more visitors in greater comfort and create upper floors in the Yard creating view points over the parkland and cricket pitches.

Knole is also a piece of cultural heritage because of its long history, occupation and legacy with the Sackville family that live there. It is crucial that these developments preserve and enhance the current standing Knole ensuring it can be enjoyed by future generations. The tours provided a unique insight into the conservation, repair and future developments of Knole, they unveiled previously unseen assets catching the attention and imagination of conservation professionals.

IHBC South East Branch visit to Hadlow Tower
Wednesday 13th June 2012

Visit report and pictures ..
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).
The towerr 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 Seminar
Heritage Crime Initiative
Held on 10th November 2010 at the Joiners Shop, Chatham Historic Dockyard

More..
The Annual Day School
“Material Considerations – Stone and stone working in the South East”

Report and pictures..
The Annual Day School, “Material Considerations – Stone and stone working in the South East” turned out a successful 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

Report and pictures..
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 introduction 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

Report and pictures..
A 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 of 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

Report and pictures
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 these 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 restricted 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.
Tab 3
Setting of Heritage Assets; Perspectives in Planning with IHBC
Wednesday, 10 May 2017 at 1:45PM - 4:45PM
Clagett Auditorium, Canterbury Cathedral Lodge, The Precinct, Canterbury CT1 2EH, UK

RTPI South East and IHBC South East join forces to host an event in Canterbury, historic English cathedral city and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Members from the two institutes can share their knowledge at his event which will consider setting of heritage assets, best practice and lessons learnt, and key local case studies.

Full details
Tab 4
Tab 5
Tab 6
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).