Restoration | Premier Construction Magazine

Tag Archive | "Restoration"

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Rijksmuseum’s ten year transformation

Posted on 28 May 2013 by Premier Construction

Rijksmuseum - Amsterdam- Cruz y Ortiz

Following a decade of rebuilding, renovation and restoration works, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has opened its doors.

Spanish architects Cruz y Ortiz Arquitectos transformed the 19th Century building into a museum for the 21st Century.

Rijksmuseum opened to the public on Saturday 13th April with a festive programme on Amsterdam’s Museumplein, led by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands who performed the official opening ceremony in front of the museum. Following the ceremony, which took place at noon, members of the public were given free of charge access to the museum until midnight.

The opening ceremony on Museumplein was heralded by spectacular fanfares, which included one from every province of the Netherlands. Once the musicians entered the Museumplein from the Rijksmuseum Passageway they then lined up alongside Her Majesty Queen Beatrix.

Rijksmuseum - Amsterdam- Cruz y Ortiz

Architects Cruz y Ortiz Arquitectos based their ideas on the original design by Pierre Cuypers, the 19th century architect of the museum. Using the motto, Cuypers for the 21st Century, and in close collaboration with Dutch restoration architect Van Hoogevest, the team has restored and introduced spaces, converted courtyards and have restored walls and ceilings.

Featuring a bright and spacious entrance, along with a new Asian Pavilion and beautifully restored galleries, the original architecture has been carefully reconstructed. The renovation and opening of the Rijksmuseum has been made possible by founder Philips and main sponsors BankGiro Lottery, ING and KPN.

Rijksmuseum - Amsterdam- Cruz y Ortiz

Work on the project has been extensive and at times challenging. Some of the challenges included renewing foundations, drilling ducts underneath the existing building, removing and reconstructing the former basement floor and creating two basements within the core of the building to create new public facilities. All installation components had to be integrated into the architecture, including air overflow systems, security and fire safety systems and air inlet grills.

Rijksmuseum - Amsterdam- Cruz y Ortiz

Meanwhile, restoration work involved the full recovery of the formerly absent terrazzo floor in the Great Hall; the installation of a damp open insulation system; and the recovery of formerly demolished vaults. In addition, slates, gutters, and exterior and courtyard facades were also restored.

With work now complete on the project, the presentation of the Rijksmuseum’s world famous collection is a new highlight of the recent works. Parisian architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte designed the interior of the galleries, mixing the building’s 19th Century grandeur with modern design.

For the very first time in the history of the museum, visitors can follow a chronological journey through the collection courtesy of 80 galleries and 8,000 objects which tell the story of 800 years of Dutch art and history. The world famous collection includes masterpieces by artists such as Frans Hals, Jan Steen, Johannes Vermeer and Rembrandt van Rijn. The only piece that returns to the museum in its original position is Rembrandt’s masterpiece The Night Watch.

Rijksmuseum - Amsterdam- Cruz y Ortiz

Over the past ten years, and with the support of numerous businesses, funds and private donors, hundreds of new objects and works of art have been acquired by the museum. New acquisitions include The ‘Golden Bend’ in the Herenhgracht (1671-72) by Gerrit Berckheyde, The Burgomaster of Delft and his Daughter (1655) by Jan Steen, and a rare white armchair (1923) by Dutch designer and architect Gerrit Rietveld.

The Special Collections are displayed separately, allowing visitors to discover famous and unexpected objects from applied arts, science and natural history, including ship and navy models, musical instruments and an armoury.

Rijksmuseum is open from 9am until 5pm, 365 days a year, with free admission to everyone 18 years and under. Tickets can be bought from the Rijksmuseum ticket counter in the Atrium or online at

Rijksmuseum - Amsterdam- Cruz y Ortiz

Van Hoogevest Architecten

In 2001, Amersfoort-based architects Van Hoogevest Architecten were selected for the restoration of the Pierre Cuypers-designed Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, which opened in 1885. The tender procedure was titled ‘Forward with Cuypers’.

Renovations were essential to bring the museum into the twenty-first century and at the same time reinstate the lost Cuypers concept. Restoration architect Gijsbert van Hoogevest consequently also had the task of integrating this rehabilitation of Cuypers into the project.

Van Hoogevest Architecten’s vision document for the tender process, illustrated with watercolours, proposed reconstructing Cuypers’s original decorations in some of the large ground floor galleries. The original decorations were obliterated during the last century, when they were whitewashed over.

Rijksmuseum - Amsterdam- Cruz y Ortiz

Museum directors at the time thought that the original programme of decorations was too invasive and there was a renewed fear among their contemporary counterparts that a reconstruction of Cuypers’s opulent colour scheme would conflict with the exhibited works. Van Hoogevest proposed making some partial reconstructions in the Gallery of Honour and the Entrance Hall to get a clear impression of the impact of the original work. These persuaded everyone involved of the value added by the Cuypers concept and the possibilities of creating effective synergy between the original colours and modern museum usage.

Cuypers’s original decorations have been restored to the galleries and spaces in the main axis of the building. Carien de Boer-van Hoogevest, architectural historian at Van Hoogevest Architecten, carried out archival research for these reconstructions of Cuypers’s design. Her finest achievement was the reconstruction of the lost terrazzo mosaic floor in the large Entrance Hall at the north side of the museum. The floor, which covers 492 m2, has fifty-one mosaic figures and is unique in the Netherlands.

Rijksmuseum - Amsterdam- Cruz y Ortiz

Van Hoogevest’s provisional design also proposed reconstructing the original spatial qualities of Cuypers’s galleries. During the twentieth century an accretion of false ceilings, partitions and stud walls had totally compromised these spaces. The final design included the demolition of all later additions.

The galleries that had been built later in the Rijksmuseum’s two inner courtyards were removed. The new building services were invisibly introduced into the monument, above the glass roofs of the galleries and concealed in the walls in Cuypers’s old ventilation ducts, which were specially adapted to accommodate them.

Rijksmuseum - Amsterdam- Cruz y Ortiz

The walls of the inner courtyards had been painted white and were badly damaged. The renovation required 46 m3 of new stone. The layers of paint were carefully removed and the characteristic Dutch brickwork can now be seen again in all its glory.

The restoration of the exterior walls was extensive too; the walls, including the magnificent tile decorations and the stone carvings, were cleaned. The slate roofs, the gutters, the skylights in the roofs and the light wells above the inner courtyards were completely renewed to meet safety and climate control standards.

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Restoring Glasgow Cathedral

Posted on 24 May 2013 by Premier Construction

An extensive scheme to restore historic Glasgow Cathedral to its former glory continues to make good progress.

Historic Scotland is the main contractor on the scheme, and continues to undertake works as part of a major long-term project to conduct masonry repairs across the entire Cathedral. The scheme comprises stabilisation works, leaded glass works and general repairs.

The long running scheme was originally designed to last for 17 years however the planned programme has since surpassed its initial estimate and is now expected to run for a number of years to come. The current phase of the works is focused on the west front elevation, including the Cathedral’s nave and The Bell Tower.

Work on the west elevation of the Cathedral’s nave is complex and includes a number of elements, such as masonry repairs – including the removal of pollution crusts and deposits, algae and moss – along with stone indentation and replacements. Lead flashings are being replaced if they are either damaged or beyond repair, however the new lead flashings are being designed to match the original materials at the Cathedral.

As the stones on The Bell Tower – which is situated on the west nave – are heavily decayed, Historic Scotland is undertaking key works which ensure that the stonework remains in a safe condition. In order to facilitate the operation, Historic Scotland has erected a self-supporting scaffold on spreader boards, which requires no fixings to the masonry.

Work is also being conducted on the Cathedral’s weather vane, as well as a number of dislodged stones underneath the vane. Additional scaffolding has been constructed to address this element of the scheme.

Recent work on the Cathedral has seen the team focus on the east elevation of the choir, where heavy sulphate deposits – caused by pollution and the movement of moisture – have been addressed. Meanwhile, stone masons have conducted repair work on the Cathedral’s decorative pinnacles and decayed gargoyles.

Victorian repair work has been replaced and string courses – which had previously been repaired by Victorians – were improved. The removal of the Victorian compound has seen Historic Scotland’s in-house Conservation team undertake delicate work which has included the use of spatulas and tiny chisels.

The scheme to restore Glasgow Cathedral ties into Historic Scotland’s aim to care for the built heritage and to enhance and promote the use of traditional building skills. In addition, a number of apprentices are being taken on during the course of the scheme.

Glasgow Cathedral was built between the 13th and 15th century and is the only mediaeval cathedral on the Scottish mainland to have survived the 1560 Reformation intact. The Cathedral was built on the site where St Kentigern, the first bishop within the ancient British kingdom of Strathclyde was believed to have been buried in AD 612 and is highly regarded across Europe.

Glasgow Cathedral is open between 1st April and the 30th September for its summer season and then reopens on 1st October through to the 31st March for the winter season. For more information about Glasgow Cathedral, please visit:



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Moat Brae House: take a trip to Neverland

Posted on 21 May 2013 by Premier Construction

Moat Brae House-the historic spiritual home of Peter Pan - Dumfries

“We were at five to midnight in saving this wonderful house” – the words of Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust Patron, Joanna Lumley, upon hearing the news that the historic spiritual home of Peter Pan had been saved.

The elegant Georgian building and garden in Dumfries had sparked the imagination of the young J.M Barrie whilst at school and he later acknowledged that it was the inspiration for his world-famous fictional character, Peter Pan.

Unfortunately Moat Brae House had not been as cherished as much as Barrie’s illustrious story and it fell into a state of acute disrepair after it ceased to be a private nursing home in 1997, coming within a whisker of demolition.  After two court injunctions, the house was saved in August 2009 by the newly formed Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust. Since then the Trust has successfully raised the money to purchase the house and undertake Emergency Repair Works.

Moat Brae House-the historic spiritual home of Peter Pan - Dumfries

Over the next few years the Trust plans to restore the ‘B listed’ Moat Brae House and garden and create a major international visitor attraction.  Speaking about the development Cathy Agnew, Project Development Director at the Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust, said:

“By responding to J.M Barrie’s legacy we plan to establish a National Centre for Children’s Literature where children can create their own Neverland in the garden.  We will be working in partnership with other organisations such as the Scottish Story Telling Centre and the Scottish Book Trust in Edinburgh, Wigtown Festival Town and Seven Stories in Newcastle.

“We are  currently undertaking Phase A capital works, due to be completed in October;  at the end of this phase, we will be left with a wind and water tight shell complete with a new roof.

“At the same time, we are developing plans for Phase B. We are in the process of procuring a Design Team for the new build and have recently appointed specialist consultants to work on the Audience Development and Activity Plans.”

When asked what visitors can expect when the house is opened to the public in 2017, Cathy added:

“The house will be multi-use and very flexible and our Neverland garden will be a real adventure garden, Peter Pan themed and filled with sculptures where children can play. Within the house there will be permanent and temporary exhibition spaces as well as storytelling and activity spaces. We are also going to try and recreate the bedroom of Wendy, Michael and John, which will feature a Peter Pan window.  Who knows, we may even have a Pirate Ship on the river!”

Moat Brae House-the historic spiritual home of Peter Pan - Dumfries

When asked what the project would mean to Dumfries, Cathy said:

“This is a major regeneration project; the realisation of our vision will become a major source of civic pride for the local community.”

Building contractors T Graham and Son of Langholm were selected to carry out the restoration of Moat Brae House. The company was selected from a number of local firms who bid for the work and expect to employ at least 16 men on the site, including specialists in stone and leadwork. The firm has been responsible for a number of high profile conservation projects in the region including: Midsteeple, Dumfries, Lockerbie Town Hall and Broughton House in Kircudbright. Other consultants employed on the contract are: Architects ARPL of Ayr, Quantity Surveyors McGowan Miller of Dumfries and Structural Engineers Blackett-Ord, of Appleby in Cumbria.

Cathy Agnew- Moat Brae House-the historic spiritual home of Peter Pan - Dumfries

Welcoming the news of his firm’s appointment, T Graham and Son Director, Malcolm Bell said:

“Being chosen as main contractor for the first phase of this prestigious project is a great honour for us. Our company specialises in the refurbishment of historic buildings such as Moat Brae and we are sure, from previous projects, that our experienced teams of locally employed tradesmen and sub-contractors will rise to the occasion to deliver a first class building for the trust and for the community.”

For more information about Moat Brae House and the ongoing development please visit:

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Gartnaval Royal hospital chapel restored

Posted on 20 May 2013 by Premier Construction

Stained Glass- Gartnavel Royal Hospital Chapel

Gartnavel Royal Hospital Chapel was built in 1904 to the designs of John James Burnet who is recognised as arguably Scotland’s most successful architect of the period.

The Chapel is category B Listed and constructed out of good quality, warm materials, synonymous with the arts and crafts style. The detailing of its entrances and porch make it particularly welcoming and it is home to beautiful stained glass windows, two by Robert Anning Bell and a large tripartite window, are key features of the interior.

The chapel has been completely restored to become the flagship centre for Cancer Support Scotland, a charity focused on supporting anyone affected by cancer via counselling and complementary therapies.

Stained Glass- Gartnavel Royal Hospital Chapel

Rainbow Glass Studio LTD was appointed by Glasgow Preservation Trust to conserve and restore the stained glass. The Robert Anning Bell windows were in very good condition and only required minimal conservation, however, the large tripartite window had severe issues, including paint degradation and poor intervention by a previous restorer.

All 3 panels suffered from severe loss of paint, to a level where it detracted both from the value of the windows and also the visual appearance. There was also evidence of previous intervention, such as the replacement hand of St Luke which was of a particular poor quality.

Stained Glass- Gartnavel Royal Hospital Chapel

This project incorporated the most current methods of stained glass conservation to allow the sensitive re-introduction of lost painted detail and a new isothermal protection system that will preserve the beautiful stained glass for years to come. The poor previous repairs were replaced with new modern inserts that have been accurately painted in the style of the original artist.

Rainbow Glass Studio is a unique family run company that aims to conserve the glorious historic stained glass windows within Scotland, while also striving to create new contemporary works of art. 

Rainbow Glass Studio was founded by Moira and Stephen Malcolm in 2001. They have now expanded into new custom designed stained glass workshop, which is over 170m² with an additional design studio.

Stained Glass- Gartnavel Royal Hospital Chapel

All work conducted by Rainbow Glass Studio is of the highest standard by skilled craftsperson’s using traditional methods and high quality materials. They have a full multi-skilled team of 10 which gives peace of mind that any project can be completed on time and to a very high standard.

The inclusion of Mr Chris Chesney ACR to the team of directors gives Rainbow Glass Studio the benefit of an ICON Accredited conservator. The team have worked hard to elevate their status and aim to become the leading stained glass firm in Scotland. Commitment to continual professional development, has won contracts with Sir Robert McAlpine and Bam Construction.

Stained Glass- Gartnavel Royal Hospital Chapel

Please contact Rainbow Glass Studio for any future advice regarding architectural stained glass windows:

Rainbow Glass Studio cover all areas of Scotland but would welcome any enquiries from further afield. For more information please visit:

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Restoring Seaton Delaval Hall

Posted on 13 May 2013 by Premier Construction

Seaton Deleval Hall

A £2 million scheme – implemented by The National Trust – to repair and restore Seaton Delaval Hall is currently underway.

The project comprises a full package of capital works, including a £600,000 project to repair the Hall’s roof on the East Wing. Work began on the roofing works in November 2012 and is currently scheduled to reach completion in June 2013.

Once work is complete on the roof the current phase of the capital works will draw to a close. Additional phases will take place on the site once further funding has been secured.

PF Burridge & Sons is the main contractor on the current phase of capital works at Seaton Delaval Hall, whilst Ainsworth Spark is the architect. Funding for the project has been provided through a number of sources, with £300,000 of the roofing works provided by The Wolfson Foundation.

Commenting on the project, The National Trust Building Surveyor, Cheryl Moore, said:

“The National Trust acquired Seaton Delaval Hall in 2009, at which point we discovered the Hall and the estate was in a much worse state of disrepair than we had anticipated. I was appointed in September 2010, which is when the capital works got off the ground and most of work conducted so far has focused on the health and safety aspects of the programme.

“The current area that we are working on is the roof, and we are also conducting some rewiring on the site too. During the rewiring we have had to install huge cables across the site and in doing so we found the foundations of a manor building that existed on the site prior to the Hall’s construction.”

Seaton Deleval Hall

Work on the Hall’s roof has been extensive and has seen a considerable amount of effort put into replacing most of the original materials. To date, the original materials have been stripped from the roof, timber repairs and lead work have been completed and a new stainless steel roof is being installed.

Cheryl commented:

“We expected a few problems with the roof however we have had to replace approximately 90% of the roof purlins, so it was certainly more than we initially thought. We are now installing a new stainless steel roof and this marks the first time that The National Trust has installed a stainless steel roof onto a Grade I Listed building.”

Cheryl added:

“The completion of the roof is very significant as it is taking place on the East Wing of Seaton Delaval Hall. The East Wing has never been open to the public before, so this work will allow us to open up the area like never before.”

Seaton Delaval Hall is a Grade 1 Listed Georgian building, which was built between 1722 and 1726. The Hall was designed by English architect John Vanbrugh, who had previously provided architectural services for Castle Howard and Blenheim Palace, however Vanbrugh died before the building was completed.

The Hall has survived fires and military occupation and now provides a home for arts, heritage and the community. The Hall closed in December, for a three month winter closure, but re-opened to the public in March.

For more information about Seaton Delaval Hall please visit:

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A Restoration for Wakefield

Posted on 10 May 2013 by Premier Construction

Cathedral Church of All Saints Wakefield

The first phase of an extensive project to restore and improve facilities at the Cathedral Church of All Saints Wakefield has reached completion.

Work on Phase One of the project, which was titled Project 2013 made great progress and reached completion on time and within budget. Now that work is complete on the first phase, Phase Two will focus on restoring the East End of the Cathedral and Phase Three potentially will see some existing Cathedral buildings replaced with new facilities.

Cathedral Church of All Saints Wakefield

Phase One comprised the conservation of a medieval wall painting, the installation of new heating and lighting systems, and the installation of a new sound system, hearing loop and Wi-Fi. In addition, internal walls were cleaned, the historic 17th century font was relocated, a brand new lime concrete floor with Hill House Sandstone paving and labyrinth, incorporating underfloor heating was installed and some re-pointing and repair works were also undertaken to the historic fabric.

William Anelay was the main contractor for the project, whilst Thomas Ford & Partners provided all architectural services. Throughout the project a number of specialist subcontractors were appointed to conduct very sensitive works within the Cathedral. Fleetwood-based company, Great British Lighting was responsible for the supply of bespoke light fittings on the project.

Cathedral Church of All Saints Wakefield

Commenting on the restoration of the Cathedral, Thomas Ford and Partners, Partner, John Bailey, said:

“The work taking place at the Cathedral has been in the pipeline for the last ten years and comprises three phases, with the main aim to return the Cathedral to its former glory. The first phase of the project was to ensure that the nave could become the great meeting space for the city.

“Whilst the work was being conducted, the Cathedral remained open, so during Phase One a full-height dust proof screen was installed separating the east end from the nave, to ensure that there was minimal disruption for members of the public who were visiting this historic building.

Cathedral Church of All Saints Wakefield

“Since working on this site our understanding of the building has improved significantly and we reached practical completion of the first phase more or less as planned and under budget. Taking into consideration that the Cathedral is a Grade I Listed building and there is a great deal of archaeology involved with this site, this is very good going.

“The interior of the nave was last reordered in 1874 and essentially it had remained like this for the past 140 years. The work that we have been involved with at the Cathedral will see the nave through another 140 years and this is something which is very gratifying.”

John added:

“Working on any cathedral is very important and it is something which all ecclesiastical architects aspire to be a part of. So far I have been involved with work at the Cathedral for more than seven years.

Cathedral Church of All Saints Wakefield

“A lot of people come to the Cathedral, for a variety of reasons and everyone in the local community has been very pleased about this work. We have to allow the building to move forward, as without change the Cathedral could become irrelevant. What we are doing ensures the future of this great building.”

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Remodelling Normanton Baptist Church

Posted on 07 May 2013 by Premier Construction

Normanton Baptist Church in West Yorkshire

A project to restore and transform a church that had been built in 1877 and ravaged by fire in 2009 has reached completion.

The project comprised the remodelling of Normanton Baptist Church in West Yorkshire and reached completion in February 2013. William Birch & Sons Ltd was the main contractor on the project, whilst Thomasons was the Lead Consultant providing Building Surveying and Structural Engineering services.

Discussing their involvement with the project, Thomasons Associate Building Surveyor, Stuart Broadley, said:

“We first started working on various projects with Normanton Baptist Church around five years ago. However in 2009 a major fire broke out at the Church, which caused substantial damage to the Chapel, hall and connected house.  The fire caused substantial damage to the Chapel and house whilst the roof to the Hall was destroyed.

Normanton Baptist Church in West Yorkshire

“At this point, with the Church in a severely damaged state, the opportunity was taken to look at how to repair and improve the Church. We spent 18 months working closely with the Church exploring a number of different schemes to arrive at a remodelling scheme that would make the buildings more flexible and spacious and fit for the 21st century.”

Stuart added:

“Unfortunately the original contractors went into administration during the programme and as a result the work took a little longer than planned. William Birch & Sons Ltd came on board to continue under difficult circumstances and delivered a project that exceeded expectations.

Normanton Baptist Church in West Yorkshire

“Throughout the project we worked very closely with the Church to ensure that the end result was exactly what they wanted and that the finish was to the highest quality.”

The remodelling included the creation of a flexible multi-use ground floor, alterations to and a reduction in the size of the balcony, creation of a new meeting room and the incorporation of modern kitchen and toilet facilities. Underfloor heating and modern state of the art services, lighting, PA and audio visual services have been installed. Externally the building has new windows, a new Welsh slate roof and has undergone full re-pointing and renewal of rainwater goods and leadwork.

Future plans include the conversion of the house into apartments and further developments to the hall to create a community facility.

Normanton Baptist Church in West Yorkshire

Stuart said:

“This project has been a huge commitment for all involved and owes its success to the dedication of the Church’s Building Group and the efforts of the professional team involved. The Church’s Insurers have supported the Church in its desire to have a modern, flexible building to ensure the survival of the Church into the future.”

Stuart added:

“The Church now has a building that they can be proud of and which will provide a marvellous home to their congregation as well as to the local community as a whole.”

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History in the making at Jordans Mill

Posted on 03 May 2013 by Premier Construction

Jordan's Mill Refurbishment- Broom

A decade long project to refurbish and restore the historic Jordans Mill is nearing completion.

Jordans Mill, near Broom, has been home to the Jordan family for more than 150 years, but most recently has undergone a restoration scheme to transform the site into a brand new, family attraction. Jordans Mill will open its doors in April and comprises The Flour Mill, Mill Store, The Barn, Riverside Café, and wildflower gardens.

The new, free to enter, oak-framed Mill Store that sits on the River Ivel will employ up to twenty members of staff and will sell local produce. In addition to its retail facilities, the Mill Store incorporates the Riverside Café, along with first floor meeting and function rooms.

Molina Projects is the main contractor on the refurbishment project, whilst Roderick James is providing all architectural services.

Joinery specialist A.P. Specialist Doors & Joinery Ltd is supplying internal doors and staircases for the project, along with external doors and windows. The company is installing windows and doors throughout the site, including The Mill.

Commenting on the project, A.P. Specialist Doors & Joinery Ltd Company Director, Paul Pitman, said:

“We are a local company, so being involved in such a prestigious project as the refurbishment of Jordans Mill is very important to us.”

The Mill building has been designed so that it can be divided in two, with a floor-to-ceiling glass screen separating the two halves of the building. One side of the building comprises the working part of the mill, whilst the other side includes a contemporary display area.

The story of each section, and the role it plays within the Mill, is told in a lively and interactive manner, with visitors given the choice of how they tour the Mill. General admission covers the interpretation side of the facility, however regular guided tours will be available for those who want to gain a greater understanding of the Mill’s inner workings.

Jordan's Mill Refurbishment- Broom

A second oak framed building, The Barn, has been constructed at Jordans Mill and provides a link to the Mill. The Barn provides additional interactive and graphic interpretation facilities, covering the history of the Jordan family, conservation and milling history, whilst offering a perfect space for both education and adult learning organisations.

Award-winning Chelsea Flower Show designers, Kitson & Toll is conducting landscaping work on the Mill’s wildflower gardens, which are set to open in the summer. The gardens will provide the perfect opportunity for visitors to witness the history of food production in the making and will include rare varieties of salad, potatoes and onions.

Milling was once a major industry in Bedfordshire, with more than 400 active mills in the county alone. A fire in the mill in the late 19th century brought about the change from traditional stone milling to metal roller mills and this helped Jordans Mill to become one of the leading producers of flour in the region.

Once open to the public, the newly refurbished Jordans Mill can be reached by car, train and bus, and with London Luton airport and London Stansted airport nearby, Jordans Mill is even accessible by air. The historic site will be open to the public on a daily basis between 9am and 5pm, with last entry one hour before closing.

The Flour Mill, Mill Store, The Barn and gardens all form part of Jordans Trust, a registered charity run by volunteers. For more information about Jordans Trust, or to become a volunteer, please visit:

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Restoring Merthyr Tydfil’s old town hall

Posted on 09 April 2013 by Premier Construction

Merthyr Tydfil Old Town Hall

A £5.8 million project to restore and transform Merthyr Tydfil’s Old Town Hall continues to make great progress.

The project is being implemented by the Merthyr Tydfil Housing Association and comprises an extensive refurbishment, which includes the reinstatement of historic wall, ceiling and floor finishes; the provision of level access and lifts; the replacement of the roof and windows; and the transformation of an external courtyard. In addition, an efficient heating system is being installed, along with grey water harvesting tanks for washroom facilities.

Graham Construction is the main contractor on the Merthyr Tydfil Old Town Hall project, whilst Austin Smith Lord is the architect. Malcolm Bowen of Bowen & Partners is the project manager, Mann Williams is the structural consultant and Troup, Bywater & Anders is the mechanical & electrical consultant.

Work began on the project in February 2012 and is currently on schedule to reach completion in July 2013.

Commenting on the project, Councillor Brendan Toomey, Leader of Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, said the Old Town Hall had the local authority’s full support.

Merthyr Tydfil Old Town Hall

Councillor Toomey, added:

“We believe that the Old Town Hall restoration will be the catalyst for the regeneration of the town. It will attract new users to the town centre and will further enhance Merthyr’s evening economy.”

The Old Town Hall project is being funded by a team of partners, including the Welsh Government, the Wales European Funding Office, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, Miller Argent and CADW.

Commenting on the progress of the project, Dr Manon Williams, Chair of the Committee for Heritage Lottery Fund Wales, said:

“When we awarded this grant back in 2011, we recognised the potential that this project had to continue the excellent work that is being carried out in Merthyr Tydfil.

“The Old Town Hall is the grandest building to have survived in Merthyr Tydfil’s commercial centre and stands as a permanent reminder of the town’s former status.”

Merthyr Tydfil Old Town Hall

Wyn Clements, Merthyr Tydfil Housing Association, added:

“The Housing Association consider that the renovation of the building and its new use as a cultural hub will reignite the fortunes of the town as a destination. Furthermore, its contribution to the regeneration of the town centre will help to create a new, and much needed, level of optimism about Merthyr Tydfil amongst local residents and the wider communities in the surrounding villages.”

Built in 1896, the Old Town Hall was originally designed to provide a home for the town’s civic functions and law courts. In addition to the work being undertaken on the site, a number of other projects are also taking place in the town as part of a much larger regeneration scheme.

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A major new chapter in Aberglasney’s history

Posted on 02 April 2013 by Premier Construction

Aberglasney Mansion- Aberglasney Gardens in Carmarthenshire

Work is now well underway on a major restoration project within the mansion at the heart of Aberglasney Gardens in Carmarthenshire.

This will involve an extensive programme that will see the restoration of the main hall, the reinstating of an elegant staircase, and work on the interior of the East Wing of this historic grade II listed house.

Roger Evans, the chief executive of the Aberglasney Restoration Trust, said:

“The gardens have come a long way since their derelict state less than 15 years ago. The very fact that this work is being carried out is an indication of the desire of our charitable trust to build on the success of the gardens as a centre for excellence in heritage gardening, as well as to enhance the aesthetic beauty of the gardens for the enjoyment of our visitors.”

He added:

“The works will be a huge boost to Aberglasney and will give us many more options for exhibitions and events throughout the year, also providing us with meeting facilities, as well as adding a great deal to the general visitor experience.”

Previous work on the mansion – carried out in 1999 – included external restoration work of the north and west wings and the reconstruction of the Portico entrance. In 2004/5 the interior ground floor of the west wing was restored to create exhibition space and a conference room, and an indoor garden was created within the ruins of the mansion’s courtyard and central rooms. Named after the gardens of Ninfa outside Rome, the award winning Ninfarium is now home to a variety of sub-tropical plants.

Aberglasney Mansion- Aberglasney Gardens in Carmarthenshire

Plans for this phase of restoration were drawn up by Llanelli based architects the Lewis Partnership, who have taken a great deal of care in doing so considering the importance and great history of the house. The contactors chosen to carry out the work are John Weavers of Swansea who have ensured that disruption to visitors over the next few months will be kept to a minimum.

On looking ahead to what will be an exciting few months at the gardens Mr Evans said:

“We always like to remind ourselves of the following phrase – Aberglasney is changing and growing – a garden lost in time, but now belonging to the past, present and future.”

The restoration work at Aberglasney is part of the ‘One Historic Garden Project’ linking heritage, gardens and opportunities across South Wales. This is project part-funded by the EU’s Convergence European Regional Development Fund through Visit Wales and the Welsh Government.

It is hoped that the work will be completed in time for a grand opening around Easter. In the meantime you’ll be able to follow progress of the project by visiting

Aberglasney is 12 miles east of Carmarthen and 4 miles west of Llandeilo and is open all year.

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