2014 © Skillington Workshop

    The Three Cranes Inn, Rotherham

    January 22, 2015 by Tony in 0 comments
    Nikolaus Pevsner in his Buildings of England volume covering Rotherham says of the town ‘memorable buildings are lacking except for the parish church’ and ‘there is not enough of note to justify a conducted tour’ – but the recent refurbishment of The Three Cranes Inn on the High Street, where we have been specialist plastering sub-contractors, serves as a reminder that all is not necessarily as it seems from the outside.   The Three Cranes, with two gables to the street front, ceased to be an inn in the early 20th century, and was once a much larger (four gabled) building. Although there is not much sign of it on the ground floor, at first and second floors the 15th century and later timber frame starts to become much more obvious. The front façade was until recently covered in a hard cement render. Inside there is a large section of thick clay daub ceiling, including the remains of a 15th century dais canopy at the end of what would have been the great hall.   The current façade however, in its gabled and jettied form, is thought to date to about 1600. Thus it is the most important secular historic […]

    Claxby Hall

    May 22, 2014 by Tony in 0 comments
    Claxby Hall is a grade II* listed house in the Lincolnshire Wolds, in private ownership. With much of its original construction of 1750-52 surviving, including a complete set of decorative plaster ceilings, it was gutted by fire in November 2011. Although most of the ground floor interiors survived largely intact, the central staircase ceiling and all first floor ceilings were lost.   Skillingtons were bought in as consultants for the restoration of the ceilings by the insurer’s surveys (SP Property Services) within a couple of weeks of the fire and by a combination of archaeological examination of surviving fragments and historical research were able to determine the exact layout of the lost ceilings.   The staircase ceiling comprised an elaborate cornice surrounding fielded panels within which were various heraldic motifs and a central cartouche.   The other rooms had plain soffits but had cornices of various designs. Analysis of the plaster showed that it was all of solid lime plaster, mouldings all run in-situ, and embellishment hand-modelled. Only the finish coat was gauged with plaster of Paris.   We were nominated sub-contractors for the subsequent restoration of the property and reproduced all missing ceilings using similar materials and methods to […]

    Stoke Rochford Hall

    May 06, 2014 by Tony in 0 comments
    Designed by the Scottish architect William Burn for Sir Christopher Turnor in the 1840s, and now a conference centre, Stoke Rochford Hall near Grantham, sadly suffered from a serious fire in January 2005 where most of its magnificent bold Victorian plasterwork was lost.   Skillingtons were initially asked to advise on the conservation of the plasterwork here, alongside Jeff Orton who had been the principle plaster consultant. Tragically during his survey of the site Jeff suffered a nasty fall from a scaffold which left him concussed and unable to carry on.   Skillingtons found themselves increasingly involved in the documentation of surviving plasterwork and the safe removal of it for replication purposes (in fibrous plaster) by others.   Sub-contract value range: £25-£50K Client: Austin Newport Ltd (Management Contractors) Architect: Rodney Melville & Partners   To view the gallery, simply click on an image. Once open you can also run a slide show of all gallery images for the Plastering Projects section. Similar projects


    May 02, 2014 by Tony in 0 comments
    Apethorpe is a grand country house in Northamptonshire dating from about 1500 and later. It became something of a cause celebre in the conservation world, and was eventually compulsorily purchased by English Heritage.   The house is particularly famous for its Jacobean decorative plaster ceilings, which were in various states of repair. Skillingtons worked alongside Philip Gaches (prior to Philip joining Skillingtons) on a specialist sub-contract for the restoration as accurately as possible of various missing areas in conjunction with the stabilisation by various means of surviving but unstable plaster.   Client (Main Contractor): E. Bowman & Sons Ltd Architect: Rodney Melville & Partners To view the gallery, simply click on an image. Once open you can also run a slide show of all gallery images for the Plastering Projects section. Similar projects

    Strawberry Hill

    May 02, 2014 by Tony in 0 comments
    Horace Walpole’s 18th century house at Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, London is a seminal work of the gothic revival in England, designed to resemble a fantasy castle with turrets and battlements. An essential part of this design was the exterior finish which was plastered with Roman Cement mouldings and details in conjunction with both smooth and harled lime plaster.   Skillingtons won the specialist sub-contract for the repair and restoration of these finshes, which was carried out in 2009-2010. Mouldings were run in situ and the plaster finishes were developed through a series of trials and samples, with much of the harling being executed unusually onto riven lath, as was the original. The transformation was absolutely stunning and is a fine testament to the skills of our plasterers.   Contract Value: Approximately £180K Main Contractor: E. Bowman & Sons Ltd, Stamford Architect: Inskip & Jenkins Ltd, London Similar projects

    Lowther Castle

    May 01, 2014 by Tony in 0 comments
    Lowther Castle, in Cumbria, is the seat of the Earls of Lonsdale. The present castle is largely the work of Robert Smirke and dates to circa 1806-1813. Some remodelling of the Castle including the addition of a Sculpture Gallery was done in 1866, and the Stable Courtyard was remodelled in 1893 when the Kaiser visited. By 1957 the Castle had been stripped of its roof as well as contents and soon fell into a perilous state. A major programme of repair commenced in 2004, with Skillingtons winning a sub-contract tender in late 2010 for the plasterwork part of the restoration of the Stable Courtyard to new visitor facilities as well as office suites.   This work, carried out during 2011-12, involved huge areas of internal lime plastering onto masonry walls and lath and three-coat lime plaster to ceilings – new work as well as patch repairs. We also matched closely a proto-cement external render from the 1890s, using an NHL5 hydraulic lime and carefully selected sands, for the restoration of lost areas of the lined-out exterior render.   The sculpture gallery had an ornate rib-vaulted gothic ceiling in a state of partial collapse, which we sympathetically conserved, stabilising what survived […]