Founded in 1960, The National Trust of Guernsey is a Guernsey-based charity set up to maintain the island’s beauty, history and heritage.
The National Trust of Guernsey works tirelessly to protect places which everyone on the island can enjoy, and over the past 54 years has looked after a number of properties which have been bequeathed to the Trust.
Two recent projects for The National Trust of Guernsey are Les Caches Barn and Brockhurst. The Les Caches Barns project – located at Les Caches Farm – reached completion earlier this year, whilst the Brockhurst project will see the transformation of a privately tenanted building and is scheduled to reach completion in May 2015.
Both the Les Caches Barns project and Brockhurst are overseen by award winning architectural design practice, CCD Chartered Architects. CCD have worked on many of Guernsey’s most prestigious projects, including Les Bourgs Hospice, the Town Church, Castle Cornet, to name just a few.
Keen to find out a little more about the projects we recently caught up with Andrew Dyke and Stuart Pearce of CCD Architects. Andrew and Stuart are both Directors at CCD Architects and have been heavily involved in the projects.
Discussing the Les Caches Barns project, Chartered Architect, Andrew Dyke, said:
“Les Caches is situated in the Forest Parish, and comprises three elements; an 1841 farmhouse, a medieval building which is now referred to as ‘The Old Farm’, and two 19th Century barns.
“We restored the 1841 farmhouse about 15 years ago, and that is now occupied by tenants. The ‘Old Farm’ had been used as a barn from the time the new farm was built in 1841, and we restored it about five years ago to how it would have looked in about 1800 before the new farm was built. We reconstructed the original fireplaces and furze oven (for cooking bread and meat), and put back a thatch roof, as it would have had in the past.
“The last project has been the reconstruction of the 19th Century cider barn and cart shed behind the ‘Old Farm’, which were completely ruined before we started work. We very carefully surveyed the ruins, and using research and experience of similar buildings, we were able to build up a clear picture of what the original barns looked like. They have been reconstructed using traditional materials and techniques, and now look very much a part of the historic farmstead.”
“The Trust is looking to use the buildings as an extension of the museum and hopefully this will include the original stone cider crusher and cider press.”
Although the majority of the work reached completion earlier this year, a few additional works are taking place on the project, including plumbing and the installation of a car parking area.
Brockhurst, meanwhile, was sold to the National Trust of Guernsey in 2000 by the late Mrs Florian Carr for the sum of one guinea. Since taking over the building, the intention has been for the Trust to rent out the property so that the rental income can contribute toward maintaining its portfolio.
In late-2013, a project designed to repair and upgrade the property was initiated after the Trust’s first tenant moved out of the building and it was decided that the building could do with some repairs before a new tenant took over. The project will address some of the building’s shortcomings, such as inadequate heating, old wiring, etc. as well as deal with rotten timber and damp penetration. To do this the building has had to stripped back to its bare walls.
Work officially began on the Brockhurst project in mid-July 2014.
Conservation Surveyor, Stuart Pearce, commented:
“Until you start taking apart the building you are never quite sure of the full extent of the works required and that is something similar with all historic building projects. Over the past few months we have been opening up the property, investigating and assessing the timber decay and structural issues. With this aspect of the work now complete we are working on the first fix electrics and plumbing, insulation works, lining and plastering. The building is now starting to be put back together.”
“We are working hard to ensure that the work that we do does not affect the character of the building, but at the same time brings the building in line with current standards. We want Brockhurst to meet the needs of a modern family so that the Trust can continue take the building forward.”
Both projects are very important schemes for both The National Trust of Guernsey and are projects which both Andrew and Stuart hold in high regard.
“The Les Caches Barn project was very important for a number of reasons. Firstly, these are very beautiful buildings which add to the visual amenity of the site and secondly, when used in conjunction with the museum, visitors can now get a greater understanding of how the buildings were built and how they worked from a day-to-day perspective.”
“Brockhurst is one of the earliest buildings to be built on The Grange and it is a “protected” building. It is important to sensitively modernise this building so the Trust can their return and maintain a regular income stream. This will not only help maintain Brockhurst but it will also help progress other projects that the Trust have planned in the future.”
“We conduct a great deal of work with historic buildings and every time we work on one we learn something new – we feel very privileged to be involved with projects like these.”
For more information on the National Trust Guernsey, please visit: www.nationaltrust.gg.