Well Restoration

Old wells

Well restoration is not exactly our trade, but due to the nature of the older properties we tend to work on, Earthouse quite often uncovers a disused well, often in a bit of a sorry state. Some customers choose to cover them over for safety reasons or simply because they do not want to be able to see them. There are really effective ways to restore a well and make it into a feature, which is what we did in a back yard, as shown below.

This well was covered in concrete; we learnt that the back yard of the property had once been used a wash house for the village so we felt it was right to proceed with the well restoration.

Well restoration - draining the well

Winching the bucket up – one load of silt at a time!

Well Restoration - built up to ground level

Well after the top section had been built up to ground level with brick

We drained the well a few times, first manually then with an electric pump; the pump to the well was also in the backyard, but was broken. Unfortunately due to an oil leak from another property we are unable to use the water. If you are restoring a well please be aware that if you intend to draw water from it, you will need to get the water tested and a license from the local authorities. You can get free advice and apply for a licence on the GOV.UK Water abstraction and impoundment page. DEFRA have provided more information in their consumer advice booklet.

The well was about 12” deep and made of earth. The top area of the well needed reinforcement which we did with layers of red brick as shown.

The well full or water again - this project took some time!

The well full or water again – this project took some time!

The water level nearly at the top of the well a couple of days after draining. Brick work effectively complete.

Because the area will be in use we needed to ensure that the well was safe. It was decided to lay a sheet of reinforced glass over the well. This allowed us to also install lighting in the well which adds to the atmosphere when the yard is being used in the evening. We found that Veon Glass in Totnes were really helpful and provided us with a great bespoke product. We also reinstated the old iron pump.

Below you can see photos of the fully restored well. The final picture shows the well at night with the green lighting glowing.

Well lit up at night

The well at night – green lighting.

Restored Well in back yard

Fully restored well

If you are interested in well restoration, please contact us.

The Walronds, Cullompton

External restoration of The Walronds

Earthouse Building Conservation Ltd was the only contractor carrying out cob and lime renovations at The Walronds in Cullompton, on behalf of the main contractor Splitlath Building Conservation Ltd. This was a lengthy project backed by English Heritage in order to restore this Grade 1 listed property in the middle of Cullompton High Street. This property was built in the early 1600’s and is of great historical value to the town, so we were very proud to be asked to assist in its restoration.

The Walronds is now open to the public with various events taking place. For more information please visit the website by clicking here.

Below you can see some before and after photos.

Rear aspect of The Walronds prior to restoration

Rear aspect of The Walronds prior to restoration

Rear aspect view following restoration of The Walronds

Rear aspect view following restoration of The Walronds

This photo shows the rear aspect of The Walronds prior to work commencing and the same view following the restoration work undertaken. Earthouse carried out conservation and restoration activities both internally and externally, before lime rendering the whole of the exterior and a large percentage of the internal areas.

Front aspect of The Walronds prior to restoration

Front aspect of The Walronds prior to restoration

Front aspect of The Walronds following restoration

Front aspect of The Walronds following restoration

This was the front aspect which looks out into the High Street. Little attention was paid to the building by the general public and many people assumed it was being left to fall into decay. It was shielded from public view whilst work was completed, but most agree that the wait was worth it! It was opened to the public in summer 2014.

Some of the damage and neglect to the property prior to its’ restoration can be seen below.

Plant growth damaging the walls of The Walronds

Plant growth damaging the walls of The Walronds

Restoration work to be done!

Scaffolding up ready for restoration work to commence

Damage to external window surround

Damage to external window surround

The photos below show some of the before and after photos; there are hundreds of photos that interested parties have taken throughout the project so people well into the future will be able to appreciate the conservation work that took place to restore this beautiful building to its former glory and more!

Internal restoration at The Walronds

Damage to decorative plaster work

Damage to decorative plaster work

Fully restored decorative plaster ceiling

Fully restored decorative plaster ceiling

Earthouse assisted with the decorative plasterwork and was responsible for restoring this ceiling.

Lime restoration at The Walronds

Lime restoration at The Walronds

A restored and newly furnished part of the suite of rooms upstairs. Earthouse worked on the lime plasterwork, restoring the laths where required and lime rendering the plaster.

Window place restoration - The Walronds

Window place restoration – The Walronds

Restored window place - The Walronds

Restored window place – The Walronds

The Walronds has some beautiful old windows, some original. However, the window surrounds were in need of a lot of work. These are some of the finished windows.

Bedroom - Before restoration - The Walronds

Bedroom – Before restoration – The Walronds

The Nun's Room after restoration

The Nun’s Room after restoration

The room above is a bedroom known as The Nuns’ Room. The first picture is prior to restoration. The walls and floor were restored along with the window surround. The walls have been lime rendered to create a soft textured finish.

Fully restored bedroom at The Walronds

Fully restored bedroom at The Walronds

Bedroom restoration - The Walronds

Bedroom restoration – The Walronds

Bedroom restoration

Bedroom restoration

Examples of the restored bedrooms.

Ongoing restoration work - The Walronds

Ongoing restoration work – The Walronds

Restored stairwell - The Walronds

Restored stairwell – The Walronds

The stairwell was fully stripped and restored. The first phot shows the work part way through, with first coats of lime plasterwork applied and new carpentry in place. The second photo shows the end result.

It is great to see that The Walronds is now being used for community and private events regularly. Recently local companies such as The Bakehouse and Pickle Shack have advertised events there, amongst others.