One of our building surveyors, Richard Lambert, was recently involved in restoring a historic stable yard gate at Hardwick Hall.
The colleagues at Hardwick had noticed some rot in part of the gate. When Richard inspected the gate the rot turned out to be worse than expected. As this entrance is used by all of the visitors to Hardwick there was added pressure to get it sorted out quickly.
Richard commissioned the local joiners and builders L.B. & J. Mather to repair the gate. He worked closely with them to achieve a historically appropriate result.
Richard marked up the extent of the required repairs, so that as much as possible of the old wood could be preserved. The wood used was Douglas fir, matching the original material.
All the joints were hand-cut. Mathers were asked to match the new joints to the existing mortise-and-tenon joints (i.e. a piece of wood fitted into a hole in another piece) and to use scarf joints (or overlapping joints) to fit the larger structural members into the existing framework.
Some of the gate’s ironmongery also needed refurbishing, but fortunately Mathers could turn their hands to that as well, having a forge and blacksmith expertise available.
All the stages of the work were recorded in photographs, some of which are shown here.