Audley End House is a magnificent Jacobean ‘prodigy’ house, and is arguably the jewel in the crown of English Heritage’s East of England portfolio.
Skillingtons seem to be involved here in some capacity every year, having carried out major projects to the Tea Bridge, the Lion Gateway and the service range as well as to the main house.
In 2005 we won the competitive tender to carry out a major programme of work to the South Wing. The largest part of this was very sensitive mortar repairs to clunch ashlar and decorative work to a loggia. Clunch is a very soft limestone which is easily carved with fine detail, but it is this very quality that leaves it vulnerable to decay in the elements.
The approach here was to preserve as much original fabric as possible by means of lime mortar grouting, fillets along loose edges, and capping over cavernous decay. The mortars had to be carefully made to be virtually indistinguishable from the stone, and were sometimes further covered by equally subtle protective lime shelter coats.
Contract value range: £75-£100K
Client: English Heritage
Architect: RH Partnership Architects
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