Heddon Mill Ltd
— 21 Oct 2021
The Government’s Culture Recovery Fund was created to help support the country’s heritage assets and other cultural organisations through recent extraordinary times, whilst also creating local jobs and supporting livelihoods. Administered through Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the grant enabled Hartland Abbey to undertake repairs to the roof which despite regular maintenance had reached the end of its effective life, putting the historically important house and its contents at risk.
Hartland Abbey was established as a monastery in the 12th century before becoming a substantial mansion house in the 18th century; altered and updated by world renowned architect, George Gilbert Scott, in the 19th century; and still owned, maintained, lived in and run by the same family for the last 500 years.
As well as being open to visitors the house has featured as renowned boarding house Mallory Towers in CBBC’s production of Enid Blyton’s much-loved novel, as well as being the filming base for Netflix’s production of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, and the BBCs recent production of John le Carré’s The Night Manager.
Historic building specialists, Jonathan Rhind Architects were delighted to be asked to oversee the works, which needed to be undertaken in a tight time frame, and involved coordination between specialist contractors, suppliers and organisations to ensure the specialist conservation works were completed to Historic England’s high standards and within a tight programme. A massive fabric protected scaffolding roof was craned into position to protect the interior and contents of the Abbey while the work took place over winter. The huge scaffold took local Barnstaple company Advanced Scaffolding 8 weeks to erect, in challenging winter weather, and enabled contractors Heddon Mill to undertake the repair work in the tight time frame required.
A Grade I listed house, sited in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the heritage coast and North Devon Biosphere, Hartland Abbey is archaeologically, historically and culturally important, and it was a privilege to be part of the team ensuring its long term future for the family who live there, the tourists who visit and the viewers who can enjoy it on screen.