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Conservation & Repair of the Southwest Quarter

Conservation & Repair of the Southwest Quarter

Conservation & Restoration Award Winner 2004

Location: Kent
Client/Owner: The National Trust
Architect: Stuart Page Architects
Structural Engineer: Michael Boyles
Main Contractor/Joinery: RJ Barwick & Son
Wood Species: English Oak

Ightham Mote is a unique moated house with a complex architectural history. Since 1340, every century has witnessed major changes to the property, near Sevenoaks. In the Southwest Quarter this resulted in layer upon layer of ‘finished’ surfaces and structural alterations.

The renovation project is described by the judges as ‘very large, well executed and deeply satisfying’. It includes the reinstatement of the oak jetty and head-plates and the reuse of the surviving oak frame. All frame members are English oak with traditional draw-pegged joints.

The judges were particularly impressed by the work on timber panelling damaged by decay or beetle infestation. Repairs were done using traditional methods then stained and waxed to blend in. Failed timber joists in the oak frame were repaired by RJ Barwick & Son, using traditional carpentry methods and steel flitch plates where necessary. Some tie beams, jowl posts and frame members were decorated with fine marbling dating from the 16th century. Where this was found the timber was repaired very carefully, with conservators preserving the decorations.