Restoration of historic Lake District castle

Specialist building and roofing contractor, Hodgson Sayers, has completed a project to replace and restore roofing on Wray Castle near Ambleside in Cumbria.

Steeped in history and a popular visitor attraction, the mock-gothic castle sits on the shores of Lake Windermere with impressive turrets and towers. It was also the start of a love affair with the Lake District for Beatrix Potter, when she and her family visited in 1882 and helped start her career as an author.

The Stanley-based company was commissioned by Historic Property Restoration Limited (HPR) which, itself, was commissioned by The National Trust, owners of the magnificent property, to restore the stonework of the castle.

Former contracts manager, John Sayers, who, in March this year, became managing director of the company – with his predecessor
Billy Hodgson becoming executive chairman – said: “It has been fantastic to work on such an impressive project.

“Our contracts manager, Peter Farnaby, led a team of six who have worked on-site at the castle since September 2012, through to project completion at the beginning of April.

“The work predominately involved replacing and updating the lead on the roof of the castle and encapsulating the stone slate, so that it complemented the fabric of the building.

“This has been both a challenging and rewarding project. At times, repair work was difficult with bad weather conditions proving to be an issue and, due to the historic value of the castle restoration, could only be carried out at specific times.

“It was great to receive some really positive feedback from The National Trust and to see the roof of the castle restored back to its former glory.”

The team also replaced the roofing on the castle’s Grade 2 listed boathouse, situated north of the castle, where the metal sheet roofing was replaced and matched on a like for like basis.

John Gibson, managing director at Historic Property Restoration Limited, said: “We were contracted to the project by The National Trust and in turn sub-contracted Hodgson Sayers to carry out the work needed to restore the castle’s roof.

“We have a long standing relationship with the business and know that they always deliver when it comes to quality.”
Established in 1979, as Hodgson & Allon, the company began primarily as a roofing contractor. Over the years it has developed and diversified considerably to include building works, fencing and metalwork fabrication.
Its ISO 9001 accredited operations are reflected in the consistently high standards of delivery, presentation and all processes.