Inspire Conservation have had a busy few months on various projects since our last post and would like to share a few completed projects.
Heath and Reach is an idyllic village on the old Roman A5 route to London. The Grange is on the old coach road and a former residence of important lawyers from the neighbouring town of Leighton Buzzard in the early 18th century. The property has been extended and the grounds landscaped since the original cottage of the 1700’s to now have a substantial presence in the village. The property is currently being completely restored.
Inspire Conservation have been rebuilding, consolidating, building new walls and pointing failed areas in the garden area, including restoring a World War II air raid shelter which was an over-flow shelter for the female workers of nearby Bletchley park, home of the codebreakers. The property was used during the conflict as a home for these female workers.
On one side of the grounds the original walls were restored and repointed, including a new well wall and other curved details. This year we have mirrored the earlier work and built an Iron stone bantered wall and dwarf pillars to match. We removed all of the old ivy roots from within the walls and rebuilt the walls accordingly, in traditional stone masonry and consolidation practises. The walls are now solid and free from any ivy growths, with all missing details restored. The shelter entrance was originally constructed in a hurry with common bricks and cement. All of the working lines are not true, plumb or even straight! The uppermost brickwork that had completely deteriorated was removed and new brickwork laid in its place, bringing the building lines back to plumb as we went along. It is quite clear to see the imperfections but dismantling the entrance would not be good conservation practice as most shelters were constructed by unskilled labour and in the shortest of time frames, given the circumstances.
It is good to see this area of the grounds now consolidated and the structures complete. We look forward to returning to the property for more stone masonry works later in the year.