Forty Hall in Enfield, North London, has been brought back to life in a project funded by Enfield Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The £2 million project has involved the restoration and refurbishment of the 17th century mansion.
The Hall was built by former Lord Mayor of London, Sir Nicholas Rainton in 1632 and stands on the edge of the capital city. Forty Hall is Grade 1 listed and is a good architectural example of a building on the cusp between the medieval and modern style. The Hall is important in helping to understand the growth of the capital city and the lifestyle of the merchant classes.
The project began on site in February 2011 and was completed in March 2012. The Hall officially opened to the public on 30th June 2012. The main contractor was R G Carter Builder and the architect was Thomas Ford and Partners
Brian Lofthouse from Thomas Ford and Partners spoke to Premier Construction about the project. He said:
“The original mansion is a three-storey building, initially built as an imposing residence for a wealthy merchant. Later extensions have been two-storey and single-storey, with a single-storey range extending around an external courtyard. There is a small internal courtyard which has been roofed over as part of the project.
“The main materials which have been used are oak for the new staircase, steel framing and powder coated aluminium for the new glazed roof and York stone for the new paving in the kitchen and internal courtyard. The exterior finish to the building is brick with rendered window surrounds, green slate roofing and painted timber porches.”
Forty Hall will house exhibitions and displays, educational and administration facilities, meeting rooms, a cafe and shop. The Hall is also available to hire for weddings and other private functions.
The project is now complete however there is still some landscaping to do which is part of a separate project, also supported by Heritage Lottery Fund grant aid.
The historical features of the building have been an important element of Forty Hall’s restoration.
Brian Lofthouse said:
“The project has included the removal of the 1897 staircase and construction of new oak staircase in a 17th century style. We have also recreated historic decorative schemes, restored historic rooms internally including the kitchen. Here we have uncovered a large open fireplace previously concealed by modern plasterboard.
“There have been some difficulties with the site though. There was extensive contamination of some of the floor voids with asbestos, which was found at the beginning of the contract and not identified in pre-tender surveys, which caused 10 – 12 weeks delay.
“But the completed project has progressed well and was on budget and has been well received by the client and English Heritage. For me, it has been a rewarding project and is one of several that we have completed involving similar buildings at Thomas Ford, including Hall Place and Fulham Palace.
“For the community, a much loved local building has been sensitively restored and will be more fully used for educational and community activities. It has been a pleasure to work on and thanks are due in particular to Enfield Council’s Project Manager, Eleanor Hunter, and R G Carter’s Contract Manager, Steve Allen, for their contributions.”
Lifts UK Ltd
Lifts UK Ltd specialise in bespoke solutions to passenger and goods lifts and were presented with a project during the restoration of Forty Hall
Paul Askew, Director of Lifts UK Ltd said:
“There were some challenges with it being a listed building, the size of the area we had to work with and the headroom. We installed one lift which was an enclosed disabled platform lift.
“We managed to overcome these issues by manufacturing something that was bespoke to the project, as a specialist company we are able to offer bespoke solutions to clients such as Forty Hall.”