Reinstated window in kitchenphoto: Peter Gamble
The above window, based on the original 18th century design, has been installed into the reconstructed window opening between the Education Room and the basement kitchen. Before the wing was built in 1895 this window enabled daylight to enter the kitchen at high level in conjuction with two other such windows. We will restore these in due course. One advantage of this new window is that visitors, who are unable to descend to the basement, can look down into the kitchen from the Education Room.
Looking up the lift shaftphoto: Peter Gamble
Thanks to various donations, we were able to carry out stabilisation works to the existing timber panelled lift shaft in the wing. This involved the reinstatement of two timber support beams that have been specially made with chamfers to duplicate what was there originally. The lift car has already been restored and before it can be brought into action the lift shaft and its vertical guides and concertina gates all have to be very accurately reinstated. Once all this work has been completed, a number of technical modifications will be necessary in order to make the lift operational. This work will be done free of charge by a specialist lift firm that has befriended us – as they are so impressed by the Copped Hall restoration.
The lift project has a dedicated team of volunteers that also doubles up as the Rolls Royce team and also the mansion team – moving materials into position for the builders. The members of this team will be the only people to use the lift - as it will not meet today’s standards for public use. To some extent it will be a working museum exhibit.
The restored chimney cap – part assembled in the stonemason's workshopphoto: Michael Whelton
The photograph above shows the many components of the stone chimney cap. Some stones were so badly damaged that new stones had to be carved. Other stones were in perfect condition – even though they had fallen from a great height into the basement when the mansion had no floors or roof.
Second flight of stone staircase installedphoto: Peter Gamble
The second flight of stone stairs has been installed (see above) and we have now ordered the third flight which will take us to the first floor. This involves a very large top landing stone and to obtain this economically we have also ordered all the other large stones for the main ‘L’ shaped first floor landing.
The photograph below shows the doorway in the wing which has been expertly restored by our retired plasterer Dave Wright.
Restored doorway plasterworkphoto: Peter Gamble
RAISING THE ROOF – PROGRESS REPORT
It has been several months since we initiated the Raise the Roof project. Our vehicle for raising funds was to encourage the Friends of the Copped Hall Trust to hold Coffee Mornings, Afternoon Teas or whatever social event suited them.
As a reminder, this project is to build a glazed roof over the light well, formed when the Victorian wing was built onto the Georgian House in 1895. A glazed roof will transform this seemingly left-over space and allow an open stair to be built beneath to access the second floor which can provide much needed space for study rooms, caretaker, archive, etc. Such a roof will also enable us to remove the present unsightly pigeon and dove infestation and to thoroughly clean the white glazed brick walls and the basement floor.
So how have we done?
Registrations to take part started as soon as we advertised the project, with events starting in February and peaking around March. The programme however didn’t take off in the way we expected.
In terms of income we have now raised over £2700; a fantastic effort. This has enabled outline plans to be created and discussed with authorites. We had envisaged that most events held by the Friends would be with just a few people, perhaps a neighbour, a friend or two or with some of the family. In the end, the events were very wide ranging and included a Friend with just one neighbour, a Bridge Club afternoon, a Motor Club evening, an Archaeologist’s get together and a Baptist Church presentation.
However, out of 1300 Friends only 25 registered to have events, so we’d like to do better next year.
We are now planning our next round of fund raising activities for this most important project. We would welcome any ideas that you have to help us engage with our Friends and show what the Friends as a group can achieve whatever our abilities and constraints. We plan to set up another Coffee Morning programme. Can you help us this time round? Can we encourage more than 25 registrations next time? Please contact me, Phil McKinder, call or text me on 07850 989071 or email me at
The light well – as seen from the mansion the staircase well will be installed in the recessphoto: Peter Gamble
Progress report Spring 2016
Progress report Autumn 2015
Progress report Spring 2015
Progress report Autumnr 2014
Progress report Spring 2014
Progress report Autumn 2013
Progress report Spring 2013
Progress report Autumn 2012
Progress report Spring 2012
Progress report Autumn 2011