Property: Eling Farm
Project: Structural & Roofing Repairs
Service: Client Agent, Project Management, Grant Applications, Archaeological & Ecological Survey
Property Listing: Grade 2 (of special interest) Group Value
Significance: The 19th Century farm building complex at Eling Farm, are a scarce survival of a complete farmstead complex, illustrating the evolution of farmsteads under the influence of model farming.
The complex includes tack room & coach house, granary & bullock house, stables, barns and ancillary buildings, arranged around a double courtyard layout.
The Coach House and Granary contain protected bat roosts.
Value: £565,000 (80% grant aided)
Issues & Operational Needs Arising & Addressed:
The listed farm building complex was in need of significant repair to address widespread water ingress and failed structural framing and roof timberwork. The farm operated under an Environmental Stewardship scheme, consequent from which the operating profits available for building repair & conservation were limited.
Acting as Client Agent, preliminary enquiries were followed by grant applications to Natural England and the obtaining of an 80% grant against the cost of works.
The scheme was briefed, including conservation, archaeological and ecological requirements, then developed by the appointed Architect, including regular liaison with both local authority and Natural England Conservation Officers, and tenants to meet the conservation, ecological, operational, technical and safety requirements.
The design & delivery, acknowledged a conservation ethos of minimal impact and reversibility, and the consideration of the scale & extent of new materials, to limit damage or devaluation to the integrity of the historic fabric & form, retaining the sense of place & historic use.
As the site was carefully exposed and cleaned, rare incised plasterwork sgraffito was found including names, dates, texts, animals and contemporary agricultural equipment.
The project management of the scheme, including programme,risk & budget management, together with timely drawdown of grant aid, allowed the smooth running and delivery of the much needed scheme of repair & conservation.
The design allowed the scale and arrangement of the original design to be maintained.
Scheme trials, between property events, were carried out to finalise the specification, assess vibration risks to adjacent decorative gesso work, and firm up budgets & programmes.
Stonework interventions were refinished with a lime, stone dust & fine sand mix, feathered in, whilst new balusters were painted and lacquered, both reflecting the colour, tone and texture of contemporary finishes.
The delivery programme necessitated co-ordination of protection, scaffold, repair and making good works, during tight timescales within the property closed-season, necessitating seven day working, good communication and supervisory controls to avoid programme slippage.