Chimney Cap components, photo: Peter GambleExtensive reinstatement work has been taking place of the last four attic and roof structures in the mansion. These areas are situated along the south side and in the north east corner. In these areas the attic floor structures have been largely completed and the roof frames installed along most of the south side. At the same time the base of the collapsed chimney (1996) has been rebuilt. The search to find matching bricks for the actual chimney is on-going and the repairs to the many components of the elaborate stone chimney capping should start shortly. It is surprising that, although the stone capping fell through the equivalent of 7 storeys, many of the stones are still in perfect condition!The majority of the funding to carry out this work has come from five sources. The Country Houses Foundation gave us £114,700, the Garfield Weston Foundation gave us £50,000, a private benefactor gave us £50,000, another private benefactor gave us £10,000 with a third benefactor giving us £5,625. We are most grateful to these funders. The Trust has also put in £12,000.Whilst up on the roof, our contractors have also completed the entire roof structure to the northern part of the wing - although the western part still requires its perimeter gutter and temporary profiled sheet steel roof finish.
Roof Trusses, photo: Peter Gamble
On the principal floor of the mansion, more windows have been installed – all funded by very kind individuals. One further window has been funded together with two steel external window shutters and an external stone sill. We are most grateful to these kind donors.The funds are now in place to construct the second flight of stone stairs in the principal stairwell. There have been meetings on site with the specialist contractors. Steel beams, with block and tackle suspended, will be inserted high up in the stairwell walls. These will enable the stones for this second flight (and further flights) to be lifted into position. With the second flight installed, only one more flight is required to get to the first floor landing. Once this has been funded and installed, a central timber framework will be constructed to which will be attached a secure balustrade – separated slightly from the stone stairs.These stone stairs seem to some to be fragile but, in fact, the staircase arrangement at Copped Hall is much stronger than most. The reason for this is that the stairs are not excessively wide and the lengths of the flights are not long. The quarter landings (10) which are supported on two sides – give the staircase increased strength. It should be remembered that a great number of houses that are open to the public have such staircases. Our retired plasterer continues to reinstate damaged plasterwork in the wing. As a result of his work we hope to soon be able to provide another display room for the archaeologists on the first floor of the wing. Front of the House
Since the 1950s, when the grand gates and railings were sold off, the entrance front of the mansion has looked rather sad. Although the gates and railings were Victorian, they did create a dignified arrival area for visitors with its vantage point overlooking the park.As readers will know, we have reinstated the turning circle and this has given us impetus to now regularly mow the forecourt lawn which greatly adds to the appearance of the front of house. With the removal of the overhead power lines, that crossed the lawn, we are further on our way to the reinstatement of this important area. See The Mansion Forecourt by Duncan Lowther.
Delivery of materials, photo: Peter Gamble
Progress report March 2014
Progress report September 2013
Progress report March 2013
Progress report September 2012
Progress report June 2012
Progress report September 2011