Byfleet Manor - PAYE
999
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Byfleet Manor

Client: Byfleet Manor

The village of Byfleet is located on the banks of the river Wey in Surrey. The Grade II Listed Manor House as it stands today was built around 1686 but incorporates a number of details from the earlier house, including the stone pilasters which adorn the main façade. The gate piers are flanked by 10ft high brick walls which form the courtyard. The picturesque manor house has found recent celluloid fame, being the on-screen home of Lady Violet Crawley (The Dowager Countess) from Downton Abbey.

 

The gate piers, standing over 5m tall are typically Jacobean, although are recorded in the listing as being 18th Century in the Mannerist style. They had previously been repaired poorly with an inappropriate cementicious mortar. This hard repair material led to an exacerbated breakdown of material and the features were found in a rather poor condition. An image was found dating from 1937 which clearly shows the stonework in good functional order with minimal indents, suggesting rapid progression in the development of decay since.

 

The iron gate pintles were set deep within the stonework caused some dramatic splitting within the stone piers due to expansion. The urn finials atop the piers were also in poor condition similarly being broken down as a result of internal dowels which are rusting. We found evidence of previous attempts to stabilise and cement repairs and whilst these may have prevented the full collapse of the urns, they have ultimately played a part in their downfall.

 

This sizable project included conservation and restoration works to gates, the walled garden and house.