- About us
- The story
- Meet the team
- Getting involved
- The charity
The restoration of the Eating Room beams is the great story of 2012. The deflection of the beams not only jeopardized the beautiful ornate plasterwork of our most prestigious reception room but the structural integrity of the entire house.
We owe enormous thanks to English Heritage who funded the project and our contractors, architect, engineers, surveyors and Chair of Trustees Lady Isabelle Errol for successfully steering through such an incredibly complex project.
The preparations from January to May were meticulous with a spider’s web of wall-to-wall suspended scaffolding and floor to ceiling supports from the cellar to the top of the house. Two steel girders threaded through the rear outside wall, between the beams on the second floor stretching across to the front outside wall. Two enormous 4m bolts (I didn’t have a chance to measure them) threaded vertically down through the roof, through the steel girders on the second floor and finally through the sagging beams on the first floor below. And then in June the drama of hydraulic jacks lifting sixteen tones of 18th Century John Soane country house was complete with a simple tightening of two cricket ball sized nuts to secure the straightened beams.
Many of the images shown here illustrate the variety of skills required by many of the builders, engineers, artisans and volunteers whose dedication has made the full restoration of the main house possible.