18 Apr Hatfield House
Hatfield House is an imposing Grade I listed building set on the hill above the town of Hatfield in central Hertfordshire. It is a magnificent Country house built in the Jacobean style for Robert Cecil, first Earl of Salisbury, between 1607 and 1612. It was designed by Robert Liming (or Lyminge) but said to have been assisted by Robert Cecil, his friend Thomas Wilson, and probably by Simon Basyll and Inigo Jones.
It is designed in the classic Elizabethan tradition of being based around the ‘E-shape’ and built from red brick with limestone dressings.
The decorative brick chimney stacks (of which there are 73 in total) had been inappropriately repaired during the Victorian era and were very much suffering as a result, being somewhat unstable and unsafe.
Before any intervention, the chimney stacks were carefully recorded as existing and detailed drawings produced to allow for scheduling of repairs and the manufacture of replacement bricks. The work itself required us to dismantle the higher-level brickwork to allow the removal of all corroding ironwork. Inappropriate cement mortars which were causing problems were then also removed across the full height.
About x20 different brick moulds were produced to allow us to manufacture the handmade bricks in all of the varying shapes required.
The chimneys comprise primary and secondary flues (some of which are still functional) which both had isolated defects in need of repair and re-construction. Where possible, existing flue pipes were retained, however the extent of damage in some areas warranted full replacement. The stacks were rebuilt using marine grade stainless steel in substitution for the rusting ironwork and then rebuilt with more appropriate lime mortars.
Due to the sheer scale of work required, this work has been phased over three periods (this being Phase II), the final phase of the project is set to conclude in 2018.