I was passing on the A1 and having never visited Belton before, I decided to have a quick look around before the winter light went. It’s a wonderful building of an unusual period with a big deerpark setting. Lots to think about. I will visit again when I have more time.
It’s nice, now and again, to engage and assist with historic buildings somewhere away from home, in my case outside of the North-West. Kimberley Hall is a moated hall and farmstead in mid Suffolk. The site has a wonderful old world charm encouraged by the sensitive management of the historic fabric. The approach is firmly ‘minimum intervention’, something seen less often these days. I particularly like the way some surfaces are simply left rather than repaired or restored (see below). Some of the surfaces haven’t changed in over a century and you are taken back to when the buildings were part of the farmed landscape. Kimberley Hall is the home of a surveyor and a potter and their joint appreciation and care of the of the buildings has done much to conserve a time-worn aesthetic. The smaller of the two Suffolk barns, being derelict, was restored to a holiday cottage. See… https://www.cottageguide.co.uk/kimberleycottage/ It’s a good place to stay if you are visiting the area.
I was passing New Abbey, near Dumfries, late this afternoon and, just before the light went completely, I stopped to see the preservation work to the tower of Sweetheart Abbey and generally marvel at this wonderful structure.
The work is being carried out by Historic Environment Scotland and has been going on for quite awhile, two years or so from memory. I understand that it is mostly masonry consolidation to make the tower safe. It’s a magnificent ruin and it’s good to see HES taking their time on it.
Further information about the monument, including a heritage statement are here…
Sometimes one needs courage in conservation because great buildings can lead those who conserve them to uncomfortable places.
The post-construction stories of great historic buildings usually involve the gradual removal of distinction and the slow erosion of individuality. The mundane begins to take over. Relatively recent buildings consciously created as works of art, such as those by the Arts & Crafts Movement or the Classical or Gothic Revival can suffer the most. Older structures have much more complex histories with many phases and are therefore somewhat different. Continue reading “Conserving a Great Building – Unusual heritage values”
It’s getting near the starling murmuration season at the Leighton Moss RSPB reserve in Silverdale, Lancashire. The starlings seem to be practising low flypasts for the December crowds that come to watch them.