Udimore, East Sussex
15th, 17th and 18th century - Timber framed - Wealden hall - Grade II
15th century part
We were initially asked to carry out a few timber repairs to this part of the building. Once we started to do some exploratory work, to assess the timber frame, we found that there had been a lot of poorly executed alterations to the building.
The worst of these renovations were carried out in the 1950s. Most of the front elevation of the building had been removed (only the principal posts remained) and replaced with new oak timbers and cement render on wire mesh.
The jettied end had been covered over with lath and plaster at some point, which was then covered over again with timber planks and cement render.
At this point, we worked with the client, the conservation officer and other building specialists to put together a proposal for the repair and reinstatement of the timber frame. While this was being put together we were able to start the repairs to the Georgian part of the house.
17th and 18th Century Part
The Georgian part of the building is timber framed and clad with a mix of oak and softwood weatherboard. There were a few structural repairs to the frame, but the main work was to remove and strip the weatherboard, ready to be repaired and reinstated.
Some of the weatherboard was too rotten to be reused, so we had to machine new sections to match the existing, and carefully mix and blend them in.
The main structural issue with this phase of work was the floor in the loft room. There was a substantial deflection in the floor which flexed considerably when walked on. The failure was due, in part, to the timbers being undersized for the method of construction, and partly the selection of timber used. We worked with the structural engineer to design a support system for the floor using steel sections to reinforce the frame.
The 15th Century Part
Once the building consent had been approved, we were able to commence work on the front elevation and the jettied end. During the enabling works, we found the original mortice holes for the timber frame, so were able to reinstate closed studding and window openings with relative accuracy.
We also found that at least one of the windows on the front elevation had a moulded head, so the decision was made to replicate this window style bases on other examples locally. On the jettied end, we found the original diamond mullion holes, so were able to reinstate this style of window.
On the ground floor we had to find a suitable timber to replace the corner jowl post. To do this took a template of the other jowl post and went to a local woodland to find the tree we needed.