Stowe House

This project was awarded Highly Commended in the Repair and Restoration category at the Natural Stone Awards 2006.

The official guide said, 'The majority of the south front of the central mansion is built using local limestones no longer available, but Stoke Ground Base Bed Bath Stone was found to be the best petrological match. The delicate ashlar stonework is, in most cases, no more than 50mm thick and in some cases only 35mm. Because the stone was so thin, it was feared that all the south portico facings would have to be taken down and rebuilt, but an ingenious method was developed that allowed remaining facings above to be supported while lower facings were removed.

Some replacement stonework involved intricate carving, especially column capitals, and a banker shop was set up on site so that masons could reference surviving stonework. Forest of Dean sandstone was used to repair the broad steps leading up the the entrance and the work was completed with a lime wash.'

The judges commented, 'This project is part of a major restoration to the south portico and roofs of Stowe House. The new stone has been carefully inserted into the original work ensuring that the outstanding architectural composition is maintained.'

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Stowe House made using Portland Stone