Pictured: The completed restoration of the upper bay window by London Stonemasonry, Hackney
London Stonemasonry recently completed a challenging, but rewarding, project on Manor Road, Stoke Newington, N16. We replaced and rebuilt a rare upper bay window in a Grade 2 listed property. This project needed our stonemasonry expertise and our ability to navigate the complexities of working with listed buildings in London.
We were contacted by the property’s owner after they had become concerned with the deterioration of their upper bay window. We visited the property and, although it was clear that works were needed, a full scaffold was required to fully assess the issues to the upper bay. As is the case with most buildings, the higher up the building, the greater the damage due to weather.
Before and after photo of the rebuilt upper bay window
Pictured: Before and after photo of the rebuilt cast stone upper bay window
About our work on this project
Once the scaffold was up, we inspected and found that this was a rather unusual construction for a bay window. It was, in fact, one of the first bay windows to be constructed out of cast stone rather than the far more common Bath stone, which we still use today.
Cast stone is strengthened with steel within the stone. Over time, moisture had penetrated the cast stone and caused the steel within to rust and subsequently expand, forcing the surrounding material to fracture.
The discovery of the rare cast stone bay window led to many discussions between us, the property owners and Hackney council.
The Manor Road area is noted for its varied architectural character, comprising Victorian terraces and post-World War II housing. There’s more information about some of the Grade 2 listed buildings on Manor Road, here.
The property owners were rightly concerned about the bay’s condition and, although natural stone would have been quicker and cheaper to use, the listed building regulators insisted on new cast stone.
We then set about taking all of the measurements and profiles required and produced all of the sections of cast stone that were in need of replacement. As this was an upper bay, there were also works to the roof section of the bay and the ceiling separating the ground floor ceiling of the lower bay and the upper bay.
Due to years of slow but steady water ingress, several areas of the cast stone and the internal side of the facade were now damaged with rusting steel within the cast stones.
Our structural engineer produced calculations, reports and drawings so that we could prop and replace the varying sections of the facade in accordance with his findings.
Pictured: Work in progress – new cast stone in place
The additional works increased costs and the project timeframe as cast stone takes a lot longer to produce than carving natural stone. Also, the necessary listed building agreements had to be in place before we could proceed.
New roof sections to the bays were shuttered, strengthened, and we poured in high strength concrete, along with all the necessary internal propping to allow these works to happen safely.
We replaced lintels, mullions, and cornice sections after the roof works were carried out.
Pictured: Work in progress on the flat roof of the listed building, by London Stonemasonry
The works took around four weeks to complete, and it was great to be able to ease the client’s mind as the job progressed. Without these works being carried out properly, the property’s value would have plummeted, so it was easy to understand the owner’s concerns.
The property owner, relieved by the outcome, can now confidently rent out the two flats in the building, secure in the knowledge that the building’s condition and value are safeguarded, especially crucial in the current economic climate.
Pictured: Another view of the replacement upper bay window by London Stonemasonry
From damaged to delightful – how this bay window project proceeded, step by step
- Initial contact from the property owner regarding bay window deterioration.
- Property inspection to assess the bay window’s condition.
- Scaffold erection for detailed structural evaluation.
- Discovery of the bay window’s rare cast stone construction.
- Consultations with the property owners and listing authorities at Hackney council.
- Measurement and profiling of the bay window for accurate replication.
- Production of new cast stone sections for replacement.
- Structural repair works on the roof and ground floor bay ceiling.
- Collaboration with a structural engineer for safe facade replacement.
- Replacement of lintels, mullions, cornice sections, and roof strengthening.
- Project coordination over four weeks, managing costs and timeframe.
- Completion of the restoration, preserving the building’s value and historical integrity.