The main project at the moment is the mansion roof. The three phases of the roof along the south side have been completed and the last and fourth phase is in progress. While reinstating the south roof we took the opportunity to carry out considerable rebuilding to the collapsed flues leading to the south chimney. It was much easier to do this work before the roof was installed and we were able to do so as a result of a generous donor.
We have recently brought up from the cellars the numerous components of the elaborate stone cap to the missing southwest chimney. These are being assembled in the entrance hall so we can work out if we have all the components. Some stones are damaged and will have to be repaired or replaced with new stone. Once this work is done we will erect a strong scaffolding tower and reinstate this missing chimney and its stone cap.
The structure of west end of the wing roof has been completed and fitted with profiled steel sheet like the other roofs. The slating of roofs will come later after further fund raising. In the meantime we are preparing drawings to fit a glazed roof over the light well in the wing. This roof will not be seen from the outside and will allow the light well to be thoroughly cleaned and used.
Since the last newsletter, kind donors have financed no fewer than 10 windows – 9 and a half to be precise. Seven are for the mansion and three are for the wing. This will make a considerable difference to the experience and use of the building. We are most grateful to these individuals. These windows will be installed shortly.
Similar sums of money have also been given for the stone staircase. We now have sufficient funds for the next flight and the stone has been ordered. However, although it is easy to obtain the steps, it is proving much more difficult to obtain the large landing stone - if a block of matching stone is not readily available in the quarry. It has to be worthwhile for the quarry to specially locate and extract such a large block, they need to have an order of more that just one landing – which is, in effect, just one slice of the block. To speed matters up we are having to order at least one further landing stone for the next flight - which at present is unfunded. We would, actually, get a cheaper deal with the quarry, if we were to order all the stone now for both the second and third flights – which would get us to the first floor – as the quarry would have a larger order. This is something we are assessing. Apologies for any delays.
We are making a number of changes to the use of the ground floor of the mansion and wing. The main reason for this is that the large ground floor room to the left of the front door is an important and useful room that, to date, has only be used by us as a store and workshop. The room has now been largely cleared and its external window security shutters have been fitted and most of the walls have been plastered - see photo opposite.
There was some plaster existing but this was unfortunately too defective to retain. Former bricked up doorways in the room have been left unplastered for the time being, so that visitors can see the archaeological history of the room – after all, the restoration of Copped Hall is, in part, an educational project.
This room was originally the Parlour for everyday eating. This room, and the large room adjacent (which we call the South Room), were originally the only two gentry rooms on the ground floor. All the rooms on the other side of the central corridor were staff rooms.
The ground floor gallery in the wing has now been closed and will be used for much needed stores and workshop. Works have also been taking place to improve the education room in the northwest corner of the wing. The windows are being restored and the walls have been partly re-plastered where the plaster was missing. The two bookcases (originally from the Passmore Edwards museum) that contain Gordon Brown’s second hand books, have been repositioned - see immediately below.
Progress report March 2014
Progress report September 2013
Progress report March 2013
Progress report September 2012
Progress report June 2012
Progress report September 2011