Recclesia has been commissioned by English Heritage to carry out their fourth phase of masonry conservation work at Witley Court. Acting as Principal Contractor, Recclesia has completed three previous phases to the remains of this magnificent building over the past three years, as well as completing a condition survey of the world-famous Perseus and Andromeda fountain.
The work on this phase will see hundreds of iron cramps removed and replaced from within the structure of the building. These have caused progressive failure of the stonework, which has spalled as a result of the corrosion expansion of the ironwork within. Once the ironwork issue has been addressed, the masonry will be repaired using a variety of techniques including indents, plastic repairs, shelter coats and repointing.
Recclesia commissioned the British Geological Survey to run lab tests on the existing stone which was confirmed as Box Ground (as expected!), but crucially the report also gave us the information we needed to select the best match for repair work based on geological attributes tested by scientific means. We were in fact able to find a small reserve of Box Ground for the previous phases of repairs, but the supply of this has been exhausted until more is extracted.
Taking the lead on the project is Recclesia stonemason Paul Warrand who alongside his mason father has fifteen years’ experience working on historic buildings just like this one. Well, maybe not exactly like this one, it is quite unusual (and well worth a visit – see http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/witley-court-and-gardens/ for details).