SPAB WORKING PARTY

Posted 8th April 2020

Conservation

The SPAB (Society for Protection of Ancient Buildings) took the unusual step of purchasing a building at risk in order to protect it from further damage or collapse, and to act as a base from which to train conservation students and demonstrate SPAB policies in action. The property is a Grade II* listed 13th or 14th Century chapel forming part of a former monastery, later becoming a home then a post office in the 1950s, and derelict since.

Several working parties have removed at least 50 years of unkempt vegetation from the garden and the local Royal Engineers have helped prop up the gable end. Students from University of Kent have visited the site, and other working groups have carefully removed vegetation growing through the walls.

The long term plan is to repair the property and make it habitable, comfortable and saleable on the open market, and potentially to construct a new house in the grounds that would help offset the costs of the repair works.

Conker have been involved in some of the discussions about whether or not to insulate the building and what methods may be suitable. Naturally the debate on this subject was lively, with strong views from the Steering Group ranging from do nothing, to insulate to a good standard where possible . We used our thermal imaging camera to identify concealed timbers in the roof, and to start the process of evaluation. Any works to the property will be incredibly challenging as the walls vary from thick solid stone to thin stud work with lath and plaster on both sides.

If you would like to participate in future working groups, contact SPAB:

https://www.spab.org.uk/whats-on/regional-groups-events/working-party-2020