The Basildon Blog

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Current work programme from Ward & Co.

Pre-Christmas:

- I.J.P. will continue with the cleaning and mortar repairs on the south pavilion and the main house.
- Bowden & Ward will continue to fit the new stone on the south pavilion and the main house.
- Everest roofing will finish the roof work by Wednesday.
- The decorators will paint the windows concentrating on the south pavilion first floor and working their way down.
- Ward & Co. will continue with the window repairs finishing the south pavilion.

Post-Christmas:
The scaffolding, site, window protections and frost protections will be inspected and any maintenance carried out.
- I.J.P. will continue with the mortar work on the south pavilion and the main house.
- Bowden & Ward will continue with the stone replacement to the south pavilion and the main house.
- The decorators will continue to paint the windows, concentrating on the south pavilion then moving on to the main house.
- N.C.A. will review the lead work with the lead worker from Everest.
- Ward & Co. will continue to repairs to the windows on the south pavilion and the main house.
Stonemasons in action

A damaged stone brick has been removed and the stonemason prepares to fit a new specially prepared one. He checks that the measurements of the new stone are correct.



















The cavity is moistened with a sponge.
Then a special mortar is applied.

















The stonemasons carefully insert the new stone




Final easing of the stone into place and pointing up with mortar.


Monday, 23 November 2009

Weekly works program for week beginning 23/11/09

I.J.P. (stonemasons) will:
· carry out a second wash on the main house.
· carry mortar samples and copperas.
· continue pinning back the loose stone on the cleaned areas.
· continue with the mortar repairs

Ward and Co. will continue to work on the window repairs

Everest Roofing will continue work on the roof

The glazier will continue work on the windows

Monday, 9 November 2009

Photo updates

Basildon is wrapped up





Work program for week beginning 9/11/09

The stonemasons will continue work cleaning the main house moving around the building in an anti clockwise direction. At the moment they are on elevation 8. They will apply the bio-algo-cide to west elevation but not in the portico.

They will conduct a cleaning trial in the portico using water to establish if dirt can be removed without affecting the copperas and will continue pinning back the loose stone on the elevations previously cleaned on the south pavilion and the main house.

Mortar repairs will be carried out using an agreed palette of mixes and pointing of the stone work on the south pavilion and the house will be carried out.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

October update

The scaffolding is almost complete, with work to the west elevation finishing shortly.
This week protection has been constructed for the torcheres on the portico. Construction of scaffolding within the portico has begun whilst retaining access for visitors to the main entrance of the house.













Thursday, 24 September 2009

A note from the Building Surveyor

Before the specification for the works could be written, limited small scale cleaning trials were undertaken last year to find the most appropriate methods to clean the elevations and black deposits from the stonework. These allowed the architect to write the specification and obtain tenders.

Once the contractor was engaged and before proceeding with any cleaning of the stonework, further trials have been undertaken over the last few weeks to develop and finalise the most appropriate method.

These photo's show the specialist conservator cleaning the stonework to a trial area on the south pavilion with a carefully controlled water wash and brush.




Thursday, 3 September 2009

Early September Update

The scaffolding is still being erected around the house. The south pavilion is now complete, as is the south side of the main house. Currently under construction is the East facade facing on to the back lawn.





Thursday, 6 August 2009

Starting the Repairs

6th August – today the scaffolding appears to be almost complete on the South Pavilion.

A large lorry arrived at lunchtime from Ducker and Young Ltd scaffolding contractors to deliver further scaffolding poles and brackets. They are also delivering a collection of stone so that as soon as the scaffolding is complete, work can begin to repair and clean the damaged stonework on the south pavilion.










Who Else Has Been Involved In The Project?

Howard Benge, Regional Learning and Interpretation Officer for the Thames and Solent region says:

I’m really happy to see the stone work exhibition open. It's funny to see it in a finished state, after talking about it and planning it for so long. When I had my first look round, a volunteer pointed out a before and after photograph in the panels. I’d never seen this before. One of pictures shows the columns in their splendid entirety. This is the old photograph. A recent picture shows one of the columns with a huge chunk taken out of the capital. This damage spurred on the stonework project. When you are looking round, see if you can spot that.

I’m looking forward to the exhibition changing with the Stonework project over the course of the next year.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Weeks 2 and 3, scaffolding work begins




28th July, scaffolders arrive on site and begin erecting the scaffolding around the South Pavilion








28th July, a cherry picker was used for two days to establish the extent of the work to be done on the North Pavilion



3rd August, the scaffolding on the South Pavilion is almost complete. When the scaffolding is fully erected, the fencing will be removed, leaving the green boardings as protection.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Week 1 - Project Start

On Monday 13th July the project contractors, Ward & Co. arrived on site and began to build their compound near to the mansion.Power Electrics lorry delivering the large generator within a container to the compound at Basildon Park
Power Electrics delivered a large generator on Day 1 of the project.

One of three large containers being delivered outside the mansion, to be used as a work site office space The large container being transfered from the lorry to the compound space by hiab (lorry crane) The second container being put in place - Only a portable toilet is left on the truck to be unloaded.
On Tuesday delivery was taken of the temporary office and staff-room for Ward & Co. which are to be located in the compound.


Next week, starting 20th July, the scaffolding design will be complete and the building of the scaffold around the house will begin.

So far this week the stonework exhibition has proven popular with our visitors who are interested to learn more - By far the most popular part of the exhibition is the "Build Your Own Palladian Mansion" model with both adults and children enjoying the task!











Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Preparing the exhibition space

For over 6 months a team of property and regional staff have been working towards putting together an exhibition space for the stonework project. This is to be housed in the South Pavilion Conservatory, Drawing Room and Dining Room - none of which have been opened to the public before.

This picture shows the conservatory before the children's activities were put in place.

The exhibition gives a chance to learn more about the stonework project at Basildon Park, the history and architect of Basildon Park and nature conservation on a project like this. We have a childrens activity area housed in the Conservatory, a reading room located in the Dining Room and the main exhibition boards in the Drawing Room.

The rooms are presented as they were left to the Trust and still require a lot of work - Income from raffle tickets sold in 2009 will go towards caring for the South Pavilion in the future.


Laura Weatherall, House Steward at Greys Court
Measuring the interpretation panels to be attached to the main boards.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Basildon Park Stonework Project Update

The stonework project has been delayed slightly and is now due to begin on Monday 13th July.

The team have been very busy getting the stonework exhibtion ready. It gives lots of information on the project including interactive activites and dressing up options for children. There will also be a reading area available to visitors. The exhibition is to be housed in the Drawing Room and Dining Room of the South Pavilion. Having only recently been taken in-hand by the Trust, this will be an exciting new space to discover for both new and frequent visitors.

Visit us regularly to see how the project progresses!

The parkland to the west front of Basildon Park

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Problem Photos

Front facade of Basildon Park, stone discoloured on sides of ionic columns and pediment, crumbling on columns and lichens growing

These photographs show the effects of time, weather and organisms on the stonework at Basildon Park. In many places the stone is discoloured and crumbling. You can see yellow Lichen - a fungus that lives on the stone, in many places.

Lichens growing on the stone portico - appear as yellow moss Pediment at front of Basildon Park, discoloured by weather over a period of time







South Pavillion, large chunks of stone missing around windows

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Learn more about our project

West front of Basildon Park, snow scene. Stone discoloured by weather and crumbling in places
What is the stonework project?

For more than 200 years, the environment has impacted on the stone fa├žade of Basildon Park. You may have noticed that in places it is dirty, crumbling and broken. We are spending £1,000,000 on managing the changes of this ageing process so that visitors can continue to enjoy Basildon Park for a long time to come.


What we are doing and What to expect

From April 2009 much of the house will be covered in scaffolding. We will be cleaning dirty stones, replacing crumbling ones and restoring broken panels. The majority of the stone, however, will be left untouched. At the end of the project you will not see a gleaming house – we are making subtle repairs to help preserve Basildon Park ‘For Ever, For Everyone’.


Visiting Basildon Park and the Stonework Exhibition

We hope you will continue to visit Basildon Park throughout the project so you can follow its progress. We will be holding a series of lectures, talks and family events throughout the year.
From April there will be a stonework exhibition in the South Pavilion which will give more detail about the work being done. It will also include photos of the work in progress and children’s activities including dress-up.

Come and visit before, during and after the project so you can see the changes taking effect!



North courtyard - wall discoloured by weather and covered in lichens

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Basildon Blog


Welcome to the Basildon Park stonework blog!
Please check back regularly for updates and information about the 2009 Basildon Park stonework project.