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Constant renewal

A typical pre-1919 single-brick building,

It used ‘London Stocks’ – the distinctive yellow brick commonly used in the capital throughout the nineteenth century – which were almost certainly sourced from the local brickfield. The roofs have clay plain tiles.

The two central bays of the stable block were probably built first, followed by two bays to the west, with the clock tower added above in about 1878.

The original timber lintel spanning the larger carriage bay opening is still in place, and the southern elevation, facing the Manor House still retains many original features, which have been enhanced by careful conservation.

In the early part of the twentieth century, an Arts & Crafts extension was added to the stable block’s eastern side. At the same time, the north-east wing was added to create the courtyard that exists today between the House and stable block.

Condition of the building before refurbishment

The stable block, which was in state of decay, featured many of the  problems typically associated with pre-1919 housing, including solid brick walls, rotting sash windows, an uninsulated tiled roof, dampness, structural disrepair and poor thermal performance. It even had resident bats.

An initial condition survey also revealed a number of issues that would need to be dealt with before refurbishment could be carried out. These included:

  • damage to the south-west wall’s foundations caused by a nearby ash tree
  • a defective superstructure caused by the poor condition of the original timber
  • the presence of asbestos
  • and the possible presence of anthrax spores within the original render, which contained horsehair.