Restoration To The Courtyard

12 November 2008

This winter we are tackling the rebuilding of the perimeter wall to the Courtyard.  Over the years it has been hit by falling trees and suffered from damage from self-seeded saplings, ivy etc.  One section has been screened off as it looked as if it might fall down and damage parked cars, visitors and their dogs, and we will start on that part first.

The construction suggests that the building budget in the early 19th century many have been tight.  There are rusticated stones on each outer face, but the centre of the wall consists of a rubble infill, so there is little to hold it all together.  To remedy this, we will use stainless steel expanded metal strips embedded in the lime mortar on each course of stone, which should provide the previously-missing lateral strength.  The reinforcement will be invisible but should ensure a long-term repair.

Repairing walls and roofs rather than investing in improvements that generate more income is what we have to do from time to time.  We are obliged to do so as the Castle is Listed.  It is usually cheaper to repair and maintain at early stages of deterioration rather than wait until the repair becomes a major one.  It is always a financial challenge, but we try to take the long-term view and hope that what we mend now will not need to be redone for a generation or two.       JH-B