Private Residence

Client | Private Client
Location | Cambridgeshire

This grade 1 listed private residence consists of vaulted remains of a 13th century abbey which forms the ground floor and an upper floor that was added in around 1795. Both these buildings were, in the majority, built in Clunch.

The abbey was built on a minimum foundation of clay and during works to clean the vaulted ceilings by a previous contractor, the foundations failed, causing the two central piers to subside and a large area of the vaulting to collapse.

Chichester Stoneworks was appointed as Principal Contractor to make safe and re-lay the foundations and reconstruct the vaulting to the abbey.

During clearance to the affected areas, every effort was made to salvage and re-use as much of the original stone as possible.The salvaged stones were logged and marked ready for re-installation to their original orientation and placings. Around 70% of the rebuilding works undertaken used the original, salvaged stones.

Quarried from the only remaining Clunch quarry in the Country; soft, chalky Clunch was procured for the replacement stones which were cut at our Chichester Workshop.

Working closely with a local builder we surveyed the springing levels and geometry of the remaining stonework which enabled us to set out the position and levels for the new foundations to the two central columns. With the new foundations in place, the reconstruction of the vaulting could commence.

The vaults were carefully rebuilt using traditional methods, wooden centrings for the arches and ‘stick props’ for the infill between the arches, all set in lime mortar.

Once complete, the vaults were backfilled with lime concrete and rubble up to screed level to form the floor of the rooms above.

Two internal arched door surrounds and three window surrounds, both in Clipsham stone, were manufactured and installed to complete the project.