Monday, 24 June 2019

Old house footings replaced

CONSERVATION work has started on the footprint of the house that once stood at Caversham Court Gardens.

Stonemasons are to repair and replace the masonry that makes up the footprint at the park off St Peter’s Hill in Caversham.

The work is being carried out by A F Jones in Reading on behalf of the borough council in two phases.

The footprint marks the site of the Victorian Gothic mansion, which was remodelled extensively by the Simonds, a banking and brewing family, in the 19th century.

The house was demolished in 1931, three years before Caversham Court was opened to the public.

In 2004, the council used Heritage Lottery funding to restore the site and mark out the footprint of the houses and the buildings remaining on the site.

The limestone that depicts the Victorian section of the layout of the house has been damaged by winter frosts.

The new stonework will be in a stronger Bulgarian limestone called Vratza which is more able to withstand weather erosion.

Where possible, a composite concrete resin material using some of the old stone for a colour match will be used to replace the damaged stone sections, protected by steel edging, while railway sleepers will indicate the position of doorways.

The work area will be fenced off for safety but the footpath from St Peter’s Church will still be accessible to the public.

The first phase of work will finish on June 20. The second phase will begin after the St Peter’s fete in mid-July and should be completed by the end of August, except returfing, which will be carried out in the autumn.

The footpaths throughout the gardens will also be refurbished over the summer. The work has been funded through developer contributions.

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