One of the biggest ever renovation projects at Kelmarsh Hall will see the roof covering of the Grade I listed building replaced in the next few months.
The hall dates back to the 18th Century and the last time the roof covering was completely replaced was sometime in the 1820s when the roof was remodelled to create a new suite of rooms on the second floor.
Holding repairs were carried out to the roof in the 1970s but a complete renovation is now required.
Underside corrosion of lead was found to be an extensive problem, at least partly because the building was overheated in the past.
The 22-week project, which will include the removal of asbestos, is due to be finished by Easter next year.
Staff at Kelmarsh Hall have been working closely with conservation officers to ensure all the building works are carried out sensitively.
The Westmoreland green slates will be replaced like for like, insulation and ventilation will be incorporated to reduce the risk of condensation and the roof’s existing lead will be removed and, it is hoped, re-cast in order for it to be re-used.
The opportunity is being taken to have the roof timbers dated using dendrochronology.
This may indicate whether the timber was re-used from the hall that stands today or taken from the early 17th Century manor house that was originally part of the Kelmarsh estate.
The work is expected to cost around £350,000, which will be funded by the Kelmarsh Trust, and is being carried out by a local conservation building firm, Norman and Underwood.
Operations manager Des Brack said: “Over the last 20 years we have been monitoring and maintaining the roof but the time has come to get the job done and to get the building in a water and wind tight condition for the next 80 to 100 years. This will be one of the biggest jobs we’ve undertaken.”
The hall will be closed over the winter while the work is carried out.
Visitors will be able to find out more about the project when Kelmarsh Hall and gardens re-opens to the public at Easter next year.