CMS Architects recently completed a significant project at the Grade I listed Corsham Almshouses, built under the instruction of Lady Margaret Hungerford in 1668.

These beautiful 17th Century buildings had suffered from the deterioration of  timber lintels and beam ends due to the ingress of damp over the years. If not addressed this could have led to serious structural failure.

By carrying out careful and considered conservation-led repair work the building has been future proofed, preserving it for years to come and sustaining its current use of providing accommodation for eleven beneficiaries.

Architectural conservation works at Corsham Almshouses - CMS Group

At the outset, we procured the required external consultants and organised Structural and Condition Survey of the timbers to identify the problems. We designed and coordinated the works that would be necessary, and prepared and submitted the listed building applications as required, successfully achieving listed building consent.

The existing affected hollowed-out window lintels were replaced with new seasoned oak. The beam ends had a splice repair and were pinned and resin anchored to the sound timber. A specialist team were then involved in repairs to the lathes and plaster and cornicing.

Severely damaged timber that required replacing at the Corsham Almshouses

Before: Severely damaged timber in need of replacement

New timber introduced to preserve the Corsham Almshouses

After: New timber introduced to preserve the building

Here’s what the Lead Project Trustee had to say following the project:

“The slow expanding discovery of the structural issues with the building were a great shock to the unpaid Trustees of the Charity which owns the building. Fortunately, funding had been set aside for such an eventuality, but still we needed a professional team on board as it was beyond the capacity of the Trustee team. We made a good choice with CMS and the rest of the project team.

The project was successful in its ambition to protect the historic building into the future, whilst retaining as much as the original fabric as possible. The repairs were completed so seamlessly that it looks as if the team were never there. CMS provided helpful, reliable guidance from start to finish, ensuring the project ran smoothly and works were completed to a high standard. We leant a tremendous amount about the building and are exceptionally proud of the end result.” 

Looking at the completed photos, we challenge you to spot where the works were done. The essence of historic renovation is returning a building to a known earlier state with minimal evidence of modern intervention.

Liaising with the Conservation Officer throughout, this successful project has helped to preserve a stunning building for future generations to enjoy.

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