No.1 Moathouse Cottages - Presentation
REFURBISHMENT OF THE BIRTHPLACE OF SIR HENRY PARKES
BIRTHPLACE OF SIR HENRY PARKES - P1
We would like to share with you something that started as a restoration of little bit of Coventry.
Became an absorbing project that we were both committed to. A place that is now our home. Marilyn and I were about to be married and she had expressed a wish to live in an old cottage. We had travelled across Warwickshire searching for some place suitable with no success.
In March 1995 a friend of Marilyn’s told us she had come across a cottage and suggested we visit the site.
We were not very impressed when we heard of the location in Coventry and were very surprised when we reached the end of the street of houses, to see a country lane leading through a small wooded area.
BLACKTHORN IN BLOOM - P2 wp3
At the far end we could see large blackthorn covered in white bloom.
INITIAL VIEW - P3 wp4
And on the right there was an old cottage.
TIMBER FRAMED - P4 wp1
When we reached the end of the stone road, we saw that the furthest part of the building was timber framed…
IN NEED OF DRASTIC REPAIR - P5 wp2
…and in need of drastic repair.
ANY COMMENTS - P6 wp5
Obviously there are various comments that come to mind regarding this photo.
- Marilyn thought this was my best side!
- Let’s get out of here, now!
- How much?
PLAQUE - P7 wp6
CLOSE UP - P8 wp158
In fact I was on my way to read the Henry Parkes birthplace plaque.
We immediately contacted the council and various meetings were held and eventually the site was advertised for bids to be made.
We contacted an architect and after investigating the work involved and obtaining cost estimate, we put in our tender in March 1996.
Thirty enquiries were made to the council but only one official bid was received.
Obviously there was only one couple stupid enough to take the job on.
WEEDS GREW - P9 wp7
It took a little while for the lease to be sorted out, while the weeds grew,
GREW - P10wp8
AND GREW - P11wp9
and grew and…
AND KEPT GROWING - P12 wp10
We eventually had confirmation of purchase on 3rd February 1997.
But we were not idle during this time. We sorted out the architect, quantity surveyor and builder.
Because storage in the cottage was very limited, we planned to construct a utility building comprising a kitchen and garage with overhead storeroom.
A great many applications for grants were made with absolutely no success, so the total project had to be funded by ourselves.
EVALUATION OF REFURBISHMENT
A thorough evaluation of the cottage was now undertaken.
Basically the problem with the cottage was that, the original refurbishment carried out in 1976, what’s poorly conceived and badly carried out.
FRONT NORTH - P13 wp216
Although the roof had been retiled in 1976 it was now leaking all over, due to the roofing felt deteriorating and tiles being missing.
REAR SOUTH - P14 wp217
The roof did not overlap the gable end, leaving timbers exposed.
SOFTWOOD RAFTERS - P15 wp25
Most of the original oak rafters were in place but a softwood rafter system had been installed over the existing oak rafters, in order to create a modern looking straight roof.
DORMER AND INSIDE - P16 wp16
Four dormers of poor quality and construction had been installed. These were rotten and leaking badly.
1976 DORMER, INSIDE - P17 wp15
It was decided that the dormers would be rebuilt using 6 inch thick frames and “in keeping” casements. The original tiles over felt cheeks and apex cover, would be redesigned in brick.
The softwood rafters would be stripped and any damaged oak rafters repaired and replaced.
The eastern gable end purlins would be elongated 15 inches and barge boards attached to provide weatherproofing.
All of the timber required treatment for woodworm and beetle, dry rot and wet rot.
EVALUATION OF REFURBISHMENT
TIMBER FRAME, BRICKWORK AND STONEWORK
The timber frame had been ignored during the 1976 refurbishment.
An internal wall had been built up to the rafters and this wall was supporting the building. The outside timer frame was rotten at the bottom. The sandstone plinth and the oak sill beam had been encased in concrete. The damp had completed the job of decaying the base of the timber frame and also caused damage to vertical timbers.
FRONT - NORTH - P18 wp216
The North side of the building was in the best condition. Timber marks were still visible.
REAR - SOUTH - P19 wp217
The South side was in very bad condition…
GABLE END - EAST - P20 wp218
…and the East side was little better.
All of the windows installed in 1976 were poor quality and had rotted badly. It was decided to replace all doors and windows ‘in keeping’ with the period.
The area where the barn door had originally been sited on the southern side, was to be made into a French window with glazing above, giving the impression of a barn door.
Brickwork was to be repaired and replaced as required and finally pointed with “in keeping” lime mortar, which would give the building a softer colouring, rather than the existing harsh modern grey cement mortar.
All existing mortar was to be routed out especially where it covered joints in the timber.
A concrete footing was to be put around the entire timber framed portion of the building, the sandstone plinth rebuilt, and a damp course set between it and the oak sill beam to prevent damp permeating the oak.
The timber frame was to be reconstructed as the support for the building by either repairing or replacing the oak beams.
The internal wall installed in 1976 was to be cropped at the top and reduced in height to that of the wall plate and capped with a wooden shelf. It would thus provide a hollow wall, for insulation purposes.
Nearly all the internal oak timber frame had been covered with brickwork or plaster, it was decided to remove as much of this as possible and expose the oak frame.
Finally, as this was a Grade II listed building, everything done had to have listed building consent and building regulation approval.
Work on the roof commenced in 1997.
DORMER AND INSIDE - P21 wp16
The internal ceilings and ceiling boards were removed.
SCAFFOLD FOR ROOF - P22 wp23
A scaffold was erected outside the cottage on all sides and all tiles were removed and the dormers were dismantled.
SCAFFOLD NORTH - P23 wp248
The roof was covered with a tarpaulin to make it waterproof.
RAFTER REPAIRS - P24 wp22
Various repairs were made to the oak rafters or new rafters were erected.
‘A’ FRAME EXPOSED - P25 wp25
The original ‘A’ frames were exposed, parts of which had been plastered over or hidden within the roof space above the ceiling.
NEW DORMER FROM INSIDE - P26 wp26
NEW DORMER FROM OUTSIDE - P27 wp28
The new dormers were installed using very heavyweight timbers.
PERLIN EXTENSION - P28 wp27
The purlins were extended on the outside of the building.
NEW TILES - NORTH - P29 wp29
NEW TILES - SOUTH - P30 wp30
The new ceiling boards were placed on the outside of the oak rafters, covered with roofing felt, wooded tile laths, and the tiles were re-laid.
BARGE BOARDS - P31 wp31
The barge boards were fitted.
SOUTHSIDE DECEMBER ‘97 - P32 wp32
A rear view of the retiled roof, the dormer casements not yet fitted.
BEFORE REFURBISHMENT - NORTH, MAR ‘95 - P33 wp33
A reminder of how the North side of the cottage roof looked previously.
ROOF, DORMERS COMPLETED - NORTH, DEC 97 - P34 wp34
The retiled roof with new dormers – Oak rafters are now supporting the roof.
SOUTH SIDE - ROOF, DORMERS COMPLETED, DEC ‘97 - P35 wp35
NOTE WAVY ROOF - DEC 97 - P36 wp36
Views of the South side. Note: crooked state of the roof, following the line of the oak rafters and roof beams.
INSIDE NEW DORMER - DEC 97 - P37 wp37
A view inside one of the new dormers, after fitment of the individually made casements and glazing.
TIMBER FRAME, BRICKWORK AND STONEWORK
SOUTH - KITCHEN DOOR, (B.R), MAR 98 - P38 wp41
We started work on the main fabric of the building in July 1998.
SOUTH - BARN DOOR, (B.R), MAR 98 - P39 wp45
Extensive work was required on the timber frame and brickwork.
SOUTH - EAST CORNER, (B.R), MAR 98 - P40 wp46
As shown on views of the South side.
NORTH - EAST END, (B.R), MAR ‘95 - P41 wp216
NORTH - WEST END, (B.R), MAR98 - P42 wp44
EAST - GABLE END, (B.R), MAR 98 - P43 wp43
CRUMBLING SILL BEAM, (B.R), JULY 98 - P44 wp58
We uncovered the original sandstone plinth and crumbling sill beam previously encased in concrete – North side
SOUTH - 19th CENT PART - BRICKS IN POOR CONDITION, AUG ‘98 - P45 wp75
The brickwork of the 19th Century cottage – South, was in very poor condition. Note: The old window and door positions and no damp course – Casements were rotten.
NORTH - 19th CENT PART - BRICKS IN POOR CONDITION - P46 wp76
The brickwork on the related North side was also in bad condition. Note: Position of the old window – Casement rotten.
NORTH - CURVED LINTEL IN PROCESS, AUG ‘98 - P47 wp77
The brickwork above the window was to be rebuilt similar to the one next door, restoring it to its original form.
This is the new design of the window with curved brick lintel…
NORTH - CURVED LINTEL COMPLETE, AUG ‘98 - P48 wp81
…and now completed.
COMMENCING REPLACEMENT OF PLINTH, SILL BEAMS - NORTH, NOV 98 - P49 wp90
Commencement of work on replacement of North side sill beams, concrete footings and sandstone plinth.
TIMBER FRAME IN POSITION - NORTH, NOV ‘98 - P50 wp238
Timber frame in position – North
NEW OAK SILL BEAM, SANDSTONE PLINTH AND CASEMENT - NORTH, DEC ‘98 - P51 wp100
New oak sill beam, sandstone plinth, casements – North
CLOSE UP OF SILL BEAM PEGGING AND JOINT TO ALLOW BEAM TO CURVE - P52 wp101
Close up of sill beam, pegging and joint to allow beam to curve.
REPLACEMENT OF OAK CROSS BEAMS, NEW CASEMENTS, DEC ‘98 - P53 wp102
Replacement of oak beams, brick panels removed and new casements fitted – Gable end
REMOVAL OF BARN DOOR AREA - SOUTH, FEB ‘99 - P54 wp106
Removal of ‘Barn door’ area, frame refurbishment – South
REMOVAL OF BRICK PANEL TO ALLOW FRAME REPAIRS - SOUTH, FEB ‘99 - P55 wp107
Removal of brick panels to allow frame repairs – South
CUTTING OF OLD FRAME TO ALLOW FITMENT OF NEW OAK FRAME AND SILL BEAMS SOUTH, FEB 99 - P56 wp108
Cutting of old frame members to allow fitment of new oak, sill beams and sandstone plinth.
NEW SILL BEAM AND SANDSTONE PLINTH - SOUTH, FEB ‘99 - P57 wp112
Repairs to timber frame complete – South. See stud repair and scissor scarf repair also new sandstone plinth. Note: Wrought iron hinges for shutters – there would be no windows.
GABLE END - BRICK PANELS REMOVED AND CONCRETE EXPOSING SILL BEAM, FEB 99 - P58 wp111
Gable end, Brick panels removed and concrete exposing sill beam.
Note: Grooves and notched were discovered for the pegs which supported wattle and daub.
COMPLETED SILL BEAM AND SANDSTONE PLINTH - NORTH, FEB ‘99 - P59 wp113
Before every brick panel was rebuilt, the timber was treated against woodworm and dry rot.
An expanding rubber strip (compriband) was inserted between the oak frame and the brickwork in order to take up and seal expansion or contraction and mortar cracking.
Concrete footing and new sandstone plinth introduced – North.
COMPLETED CILL BEAM AND SANDSTONE PLINTH - EAST, FEB ‘99 - P60 wp114
New sill beam, concrete foundation and new sandstone plinth – East
COMPLETED CILL BEAM AND SANDSTONE PLINTH - SOUTH, FEB ‘99 - P61 wp121
New sill beam, concrete foundation and new sandstone plinth, French window and stable door. Note old brick paviors.
EAST END COMPLETED - MAY 2000 - P62 wp237
East gable end completed may 2000. Note: All panels were removed and timbers treated and bricks were reinserted using method previously described.
NORTH SIDE COMPLETED - MAY 2000 - P63 wp206
North side completed – See new oak front door. All panels were removed, bricks pointed up using lime mortar with yellow sharp sand.
SOUTH SIDE COMPLETED - JULY 2000 - (VISIT OF CATHERINE GRAY) - P64 wp236
Southside completed – Surprise visit of Catherine Gray, great, great, granddaughter of Sir Henry Parkes July 2000.
BACKGROUND – CLARKE TARTAN - P65 wp169a
The interior of the cottage will be shown room by room to avoid confusion.
After the roof was retiled, all timber on the inside was treated for woodworm and dry rot – May 1998.
SNUG - FIREPLACE AS COMPLETED IN 1976 - P66 wp12
The snug fireplace before refurbishment.
FIREPLACE DISCOVERED JULY 98 - P67 wp48
The old 1800 fireplace exposed, there would have been an iron stove and fire basket about 3feet high here. It would have been the only form of heating in the cottage.
The base of the fire grate.
The stone after removal.
SMALL WINDOW - SOUTH JULY 98 - P68 wp55
Two casement window – Rear as installed 1976.
COMMENCING REFURBISHMENT - FIREPLACE - JULY 98 - P69 wp59
Fireplace refurbishment commencing.
FIREPLACE BEING REBUILT - AUG 98 - P70 wp67
Fireplace during rebuild.
FIREPLACE BRICKWORK COMPLETE - AUG 98 - P71 wp68
Fireplace brickwork complete.
ORIGINAL CEILING BEAM CLEANED - AUG 98 - P72 wp69
Original 1800’s ceiling beam cleaned.
OAK BEAM - INGLENOOK - AUG 98 - P73 wp78
Introduction of an oak beam + corbel.
FIREPLACE AND INGLENOOK - AUG 98 - P74 wp79
SNUG BEAMS AFTER SANDBLASTING - SEPT 98 - P75 wp83
Snug beams after sandblasting.
INSTALLATION - CUPBOARD STAIRS - SEPT 98 - P76 wp84
Cupboard stairs replaced, design based on identical stairs in next-door cottage.
CUPBOARD STAIRS - FRAMED, PLASTERED - NOV 98 - P77 wp91
Stair framed and plastered.
FIREPLACE WITH FLOOR AND KERB - NOV 98 – P78 wp92
Fireplace completed with herringbone floor and kerb.
DOORS FITTED - P79 wp105
Cupboard stair door fitted.
STAINING WOODWORK - MAY 99 – P80 wp240
Staining woodwork, see trial wall colour.
SNUG COMPLETED - DEC 99 – P81 wp241
Snug inglenook completed.
SNUG - STAINED GLASS - JAN 2000 – P82 wp242
Snug door leading to open hall.
You can see the touch of the woman’s hand in the furnishing and colour co-ordination.
OPEN HALL - CUT MAIN TIE BEAM AS 1976 - P83 wp11
During the previous refurbishment in 1976, the main western tie beam had been cut through in order to gain access to bedrooms in the Westside via a staircase leading from the open hall.
In 1976 the internal ‘A’ frames had been plastered and bricked over and an internal wall had been built which supported the roof timbers and allowed the external timbers to hand down from the roof without the need for support at the base.
This meant the stone plinth, sill beam and vertical timbers were not loadbearing, in fact they had been left unrestored and were crumbling.
As it was our intention to reinstitute the timber frame structure, it was necessary to repair this beam and remove the top of the internal support wall and of course reintroduce the sandstone plinth, sill beam and external timber frame.
If things wanted –
LAURIE WARMING UP - SEPT 97 - P84 wp17
Knocking down or
MARILYN COOLING DOWN - SEPT 97 - P85 wp17
Tidying up – We were always there.
CEILING AND CEILING BOARDS REMOVED - NOV 97 - P86 wp25
Before the roof was refurbished, some of the internal walls, internal ceilings and ceiling boards were removed and the ‘A’ frames were exposed.
TOP OF WALLS CROPPED - JULY 98 - P87 wp52
FURTHER CROPPING - JULY 98 - P88 wp53
After the roof was completed in July 1998, the tops of the internal wall were cropped.
PLASTERBOARD CLEARED FROM BARN DOOR - JULY 98 - P89 wp54
Plasterboard was cleared away from the barn door area near to the window.
INTERNAL BRICKWORK REMOVED - JULY 98 - P90 wp60
Then the internal brickwork above was removed.
PLASTER REMOVED FROM TIE BEAM - JULY 98 - P91 wp62
Initially plaster was removed from the severed tie beam.
6FT LONG ENGLISH OAK - AUG 98 - P92 wp64
A 6 foot long piece of English oak was purchased.
JOINTS CUT IN TIE BEAM - AUG 98 - P93 wp63
Joints were cut into the old beam.
MATCHING JOINTS IN NEW OAK - AUG 98 - P94 wp66
Matching joints were cut into the new oak and the tie beam was reinstated.
STAIRWAY BRICKED UP, EAST END - AUG 98 - P95 wp65
The old 1976 stairway was bricked up at the East end.
INTERNAL TIMBER SANDBLASTED - SEPT 98 - P96 wp82
‘A’ frame at the West end after sandblasting of all internal timbers September 1998.
NEW OAK BEAMS - SEPT 98 - P97 wp86
New oak beams were introduced at the East end.
‘A’ FRAME, STAIRWAY BRICKED UP - NOV 98 - P98 wp93
Stairway bricked up, ceiling and ‘A’ frame plastered – West end
LOOKING UP - NOV 98 - P99 wp97
Looking up at the oak rafters after plastering.
‘A’ FRAME EAST - NOV 98 - P100 wp98
‘A’ frame at the East end after plastering.
‘A’ FRAME WEST - NOV 98 P101 wp99
‘A’ frame at the West end after plastering – Note: Shelf.
STARTING DECORATING, EAST - APRIL 99 - P102 wp132
Starting decorating – East end.
STARTING DECORATING, WEST - APRIL 99 P103 wp133
Starting decorating – West end.
THE DECORATOR - JUNE 99 - P104 wp147
Like any good professional, I was checking to see if I had taken my lunch. It was a long way up that ladder.
THE BARN DOOR - JUNE 99 - P105 wp145
The new oak French window with glazing above.
ROOF TIMBERS - EAST - JUNE 99 P106 wp148
Roof timbers after staining and painting completed – East.
ROOF TIMBERS - SOUTH - JUNE 99 P107 wp149
Roof timbers after staining and painting completed – South.
FIRST FLOOR - DORMER - NORTH EAST, 1976 STYLE - FEB 95 - P108 wp13a
Due to the roof and dormers leaking badly, the 1st floor was very wet and a great deal of woodwork was rotted.
FIRST FLOOR - DORMER - NORTH WEST, 1976 STYLE - FEB 95 - P109 wp15
This was the North dormer – East and the North dormer – West in 1995.
ATTRACTIVE BATHROOM 1976 STYLE - P110 wp243
We were attracted immediately to the bathroom suite – 1995
CUPBOARD STAIRS INTRODUCTION - SEPT 98 - P111 wp244
This shows the introduction of the cupboard stairs in the West bedroom.
BEDROOM 2 - DECORATED - JUNE 99 - P112 wp245
Bedroom No. 2 exposed ‘A’ frame after decoration.
BEDROOM 1 - SOUTH - DEC 99 - P113 wp246
This is bedroom No. 1 looking South.
BEDROOM 1 - BED - DEC 99 - P114 wp247
And the bed – It is a fully ensuite bedroom.
BEDROOM 2 - SOUTH - DEC 99 - P115 wp248
This is bedroom No. 2 looking South.
BED 2 - NORTH DEC 99 - P116 wp249
And looking North.
BACKGROUND – CLARKE TARTAN
When we discovered that Moathouse was the birthplace of Sir Henry Parkes, it was evident that it would be a place visited by Australians.
But essentially as Henry Parkes becomes recognised as “The Father of the Federation”, the site will become as important to Australians as Washington’s birthplace is to the Americans.
This has been in our minds when carrying out the refurbishment of Moathouse.
We trust that the main reconstruction of the frame and brickwork will last at least 200 years with minimum maintenance.
It would be ideal if eventually the whole of the house could be maintained as a memorial to Sir Henry Parkes.