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Ventrolla has renovated 96 traditional wooden sash windows at five Georgian houses belonging to the diocese of Southwell and Nottingham.
Nestled close to the iconic Southwell Minster, Vicars’ Court stands as a testament to architectural grace, comprising a quadrangle of Grade II-listed Georgian houses. The diocese of Southwell and Nottingham entrusted Ventrolla with the task of renovating 96 traditional wooden sash windows across five of these historic residences. This case study unveils the intricate journey of preserving heritage charm while upgrading the functionality of these significant structures.
Vicars’ Court, a harmonious ensemble of Georgian houses, reflects the historical and architectural heritage of Southwell. The Grade II listed status underscores the significance of these structures, and the wooden sash windows play a pivotal role in defining the authentic character of the residences.
The challenge lay in harmonising the preservation of the historical aesthetic with the integration of modern comfort. The objectives were two-fold: to restore the windows to their original splendour and to enhance energy efficiency without compromising the authenticity of Georgian architecture.
The restoration journey commenced with a collaborative heritage assessment. Ventrolla worked closely with heritage experts to understand the unique features of the Georgian windows, ensuring that the renovation plan aligned with conservation guidelines.
The wooden sash windows, weathered by time and elements, underwent a meticulous restoration process. Skilled craftsmen addressed issues of decay and damage, restoring the structural integrity of the frames while preserving the intricate details that define Georgian architecture.
To meet modern energy efficiency standards, Ventrolla integrated discreet draftproofing solutions. Weatherstripping and seals were applied with precision to address any gaps without compromising the visual appeal of the windows. Additionally, glazing upgrades contributed to improved insulation.
Preserving the authenticity of the windows required careful attention to hardware details. Ventrolla’s craftsmen refurbished the original hardware, including pulleys and sash weights, ensuring smooth functionality while retaining the historical charm of the Georgian fixtures.
With Vicars’ Court being a residential quadrangle, project logistics were carefully planned. The restoration activities were strategically scheduled to minimize disruption to the occupants while ensuring the efficient progression of the renovation across all five houses.
Given the Grade II listed status, Ventrolla collaborated closely with heritage and conservation authorities. This involved obtaining necessary approvals and ensuring that the restoration adhered to strict conservation guidelines, a testament to the commitment to preserving historical authenticity.
The successful renovation of 96 traditional wooden sash windows at Vicars’ Court yielded remarkable results:
Vicars’ Court, a quadrangle of Grade II listed houses close to Southwell Minster, is home to the local Dean and members of the clergy. Ventrolla spent three months repairing and servicing the windows. Many had been damaged by bad weather, while others were stuck shut because the sashes had been repeatedly painted over.
Ian Greaves, the diocese’s Building Surveyor, said:
“We have worked with Ventrolla before and felt confident their skill and expertise would be perfect for this job.”
“The windows have been neglected over the years and it was vital we got them repaired quickly to allow for proper ventilation. The end result is fantastic and complements the characteristics of the overall development perfectly.”
A spokesperson from Ventrolla said:
“We started by stripping the layers of paint back so we could repair the damaged timber, then serviced the pulleys and balanced each sash so the windows would operate correctly. We also matched any broken glass as closely as possible to the original style in order to maintain the houses’ distinctive period look.”
Ventrolla’s renovation of 96 traditional wooden sash windows at Vicars’ Court in Southwell exemplifies the delicate art of balancing heritage preservation with modern functionality. This case study stands as a testament to the meticulous craftsmanship and collaborative spirit required to breathe new life into architectural treasures. Vicars’ Court, with its restored windows, is not just a residential quadrangle; it is a living testament to Southwell’s rich history and the enduring beauty of Georgian architecture.
The Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham was founded in 1884 and covers 847 square miles, including the whole of Nottinghamshire and a few parishes in South Yorkshire. There are 314 Anglican church buildings in its 264 parishes served by 213 clergy.
Vicars’ Court is located to the east of Southwell Minster and was built between 1779 and 1781 to house the vicar’s choral.
Ventrolla’s central office is based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, with offices throughout the UK, and offers a bespoke renovation and performance upgrade service for timber sliding sash and casement windows.