Restorations and Additions
Remodelling of a historic house in Co. Durham
This house has Tudor origins, but consists mainly of a late Georgian villa to which a large Victorian extension had been added. The Victorian work, although superficially similar to the Georgian work, was larger in scale, awkwardly proportioned and peculiarly detailed. By the beginning of the twenty-first century the house had an unpleasantly institutional feel. The enormous and undistinguished service wings had been abandoned after World War I and were dilapidated; they contained numerous long and gloomy corridors and redundant rooms.
The Victorian areas have been remodelled to suit modern living with details more in keeping with the Georgian parts of the house. The entrance hall has been given a stone floor and a new cornice, based on a design by Robert Adam, incorporating the supporters from the clients’ armorial bearings. An ugly off centre opening into the staircase hall was remodelled as a Palladian motif with a central arch and dummy door to achieve symmetry. An unnecessary door into the dining room was removed and the door into the drawing room was repositioned and given a pediment.
The ceiling of the drawing room was dropped to hide some irregularly spaced beams and a new cornice was installed. The fireplace was re-sited to the long wall of the room after investigations revealed an old flue in this position.
A large part of the service wing was demolished and a new atrium created in a space previously occupied by the old kitchen and two slot-like light wells. This space has proved very successful and is used for shooting lunches and large parties.