THE BOARS HEAD, Crowborough, East Sussex

From disaster to delight – a complex building project for grade II listed property

A car had driven into the side of this 200 year old, grade II listed property, leaving a gaping hole, but it had been left like that for a year. After two weeks of meticulous planning, the Stenball team carefully dismantled the roof and original timbers, stacking everything neatly on site so they could be reused. New foundations were laid while props and scaffolding held the remaining building up.

Where original materials were missing or in poor condition the team scoured reclamation yards for perfect matches. Years-old lathe and plaster had to be replaced where unsound, but Stenball analysed it to identify its make-up, enabling them to mix precisely the right type of heritage lime mortar, knowing its tolerances in different temperatures. Working with a team member, a craftsman with over 45 years’ experience of such buildings, they recreated the exact style in which the bricks had been laid.

 This was a complex building job, made much more challenging because of the building’s small footprint. It meant team members had to work around each other very carefully without getting in each other’s way. Stenball worked closely to the exacting standards of the heritage office at Wealden District Council who inspected all the reclaimed materials after they’d been purchased, then again once they’d been laid.