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Hereford's Black and White House Museum in Need of Some TLC

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The beautiful 400-year-old Old House in Hereford will be undergoing some much needed repairs if the recent planning application to carry out these repairs is approved.

The Black and White House Museum Hereford.

As you can clearly see from our photographs below, many of the infill panels need to be repaired and brought back to their former glory.


Proposed repairs to external joinery, frame and infill panels of 1st floor, 2nd floor & attic level elevations.

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Donald Insall Associations - Chartered Architects and Historical Building Consultants

Herefordshire Council appointed Insall to undertake a condition survey of the first and second floor level external elevations, to identify the condition of the timber frame, infill panels and associated external joinery i.e. windows, bargeboards and finials, and provide budget costs to allow a capital funding bid for the work. The findings of the inspection were to inform recommendations for improvement works sufficient to allow tenders to be invited from suitably experienced contractors.


Timber Frame and Joinery

Necessary repairs to joinery on the upper-level elevations are minor in nature and largely focused on arresting the further loss of the delightful decorative details which are such a feature of this eye- catching building.

  Repair 5no carved pendant characters adorning gable apex. Introduce discreet lead cover flashing over upper surfaces of all 8 pendants following repair and redecoration.

  Repair several other missing or damaged decorative joinery features.

  Numerous previous patch repairs to frame and joinery require refixing.

  Remove extensive modern sealants before repair and redecoration.

  Remove leaching bird deterrent gel on transoms and sills before repair and redecoration.

  Prepare and redecorate external timber with linseed oil paint.

  Arrange close inspection by a suitably experienced structural engineer when access is next available during planned works.

Infill Panels

The constructional build-up and layered provenance of each panel is difficult to determine as the building has undergone may phases of adaptation and repair, but some original panels are likely to have survived at least in part and these are of high significance. Consequently, a cautious approach to repair is required where the type of construction is not apparent in a defective panel.

The cause of panel defects may often be the result of a combination of factors. It appears that many of the defective areas are of modern construction and relate to recent phases of repair.

Remove defective and delaminating coatings to panels and perimeter sealant at junctions with frame.

Progressively open up defective areas recording existing individual panel construction on reference sheet.

  Where defective panel is supported on modern woodwool slab or expanded metal lathing, assume complete replacement with new wattle and daub panel construction.

  Where defective panel is of modern, or historic, wattle and daub construction, assess soundness of panel and integrity of wattles/ laths to establish suitability for stabilisation or patch repair. Samples of any soil or lime-based daub should be carefully salvaged and bagged for analysis by others.

Replacement panels of new wattle and daub construction – refer to specification and drawings. Repairs to existing wattle and daub panel construction – refer to specification.
Prepare and redecorate panel exterior with mineral paint – refer to specification.
Prepare and redecorate panel interior with distemper – refer to specification.

Ancillary Items

Minor repairs to fixed leaded light windows in timber frames.

Renew isolated broken clay plain tiles to bay window roofs.

Repair/ renew sections of lead cover flashing to south elevation 2nd floor bressummer beam.

Remove sealant joint over lead cover flashing at top abutment of tiled roofs – refer to specification for repair detail.

The Condition Survey and Recommendation for Improvement Works PDF from Donald Insall Associates is attached below;


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Property Services and Balfour Beatty prepared a survey and scheme of repairs and applied for listed building consent last year - this was withdrawn, after the Civic Society amongst commented that it was inadequate for a building of such importance. It looks like the Council have now done the right thing and gone to one of the leading conservation practices in the Country. Let's hope the usual suspects don't get to do the actual building work.

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