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Tim, Kitty Crag

Shire homes quickly stripped out the previous decades worth of bodged building works thereby uncovering yet more horrors. The roof required a fair proportion of new timbers and slates as well as all four chimney stacks dropping and rebuilding.

Most of the original wooden window frames required new timber inserting into the old and some of the original metal frames needed new sections inserting and the lead restoring. New frames were built in the original style where necessary. Ryan even built a complete folding shutter to replace a lost one and restored the others to working order. I would challenge anyone to say which one isn’t original.

Because we wanted underfloor heating under the original stone floor it was necessary to dig down to the bedrock which wasn’t far below and then quarry out the rock to achieve sufficient depth for insulation and pipework. First floor joists and roof trusses also required strengthening with hidden steelwork and the walls re-plastered with historic lime plaster.

The philosophy behind the job was ‘restore and re-use when possible otherwise replace and improve sympathetically’. When the garage was built, the stone facing came from the rock which was quarried out of the foundations in the same way as the house had been built over two hundred years before.

Dorothy Wordsworth wrote in her diary in May 1802: “William observed the beauty of Geordy Green’s house*. We see it from our orchard.” (*now our house!)

Work finished in December and we moved in after Christmas. It’s a joy living there and I have the opportunity to admire Shire Homes work daily and thank them for their attention to detail.