Tan y Coed, Llynclys,
Oswestry, Shropshire
SY10 8LJ
Tel. 01691 830099
Email. [email protected]

Old Lawns Farmhouse, Shropshire

Old Lawns Farmhouse, Shropshire
  • Client: Private Client
  • Architect: Peter Napier & Co, Shrewsbury
  • Role: Main Contractor
  • Our remit on this project  involved restoring the fabric of this  old Shropshire hills farmhouse to its  original condition, both for aesthetic reasons and to get the fabric behaving in the way that old buildings should do ( to breathe again).   Although the package of practical works was never going to be the most straight forward, the combined planning of the client Stuart Lambie and Surveyor Peter Napier resulted in a very workable scheme. Stuart actually ran a blog recording the different elements and the progress of the work on a day to day basis. Please take a look at oldlawnsrenovate.blogspot.com for a totally different perspective on the work, an insight from the client.

    The project started with a pre-contract meeting in the kitchen at Old Lawns where client, surveyor and builder discussed the proposed works and a program of works was planned out.  Stuart had bravely tackled a major part of the work during the previous winter and had tirelessly hacked off the hard cement render from all the walls single handed . One of my first questions to Stuart was where the family was moving  to while the works were taking place,  Stuart calmly  informed me the whole family planned on staying put for the full duration of the works!!  This concern was put to one side and plans were implemented and the works were set to commence in the last week of July. As it happened my concerns over the Lambie family remaining in residence were unfounded, it was a  big plus point as he was always there and available to make sensible decisions and this actually helped a lot with the day to day planning of the work.

     The largest chunk of the works involved the windows.  In the late 80s all the original windows were removed and the original brick arched heads knocked out and replaced with concrete lintels which were then overlaid with hard cement and modern facing brickwork to make good.  Luckily enough there was one original brick arch left intact which was used as a pattern.  The lintels of the fifteen doors and windows were removed and timber formers were made by the carpenters and fitted.  The brick arches were carefully built in and the overlying brickwork rebuilt in the old 9” work with reclaimed matching bricks.   All the bricks were re-laid in lime mortar to assure the walls could breathe again. Due to the exposed location of the farmhouse a decision was made to replace the windows with triple glazed softwood windows. The joinery manufacturers finished the windows in there workshops with 3 coats of linseed based paint which resulted in us being able to fit the windows as soon as they arrived at site.

    An unstable area to the south wall,   needed to be carefully dismantled due to some evident movement and the wall bulging out.  Above the first floor joists the wall was extensively propped and the unstable wall carefully dismantled, the plan was to take down to within several courses of ground level and then rebuild. Unfortunately after digging down the side of the foundations they were found to be in an unconsolidated state and were considered to be one of the main causes of the movement in the wall. A decision was reached by the surveyor and we removed the last couple of courses of brick and dug down and excavated for a new footing.  The new footing was poured and the 9” brick wall rebuilt in lime mortar using the set aside original brick. Other small areas of unstable brickwork were attended to and isolated patch pointing to areas where the original lime pointing failed were completed to all the brick walls. 

     Hard cement render was removed from the west wall which was stone built and was thought to be of an earlier construction than the brick walls. Under the render the wall was found to unstable and to be bulging out in several places.  In an earlier attempt at strengthening the wall two brick buttresses had been built in the 1980s however this had not addressed the original problem and only stabilised the areas behind and local to the buttress.  Following some investigative removal of stone from the outer skin of the wall it was found that large areas of the wall had no consolidated lime infill tying together the two skins of stone. The prevailing westerly wet weather and leaking gutters meant water had penetrated the wall over the years and gradually washed the mortar out.  50 stainless spiroties were resined through the wall to tie the inner and outer stone leaves together. The whole wall was repointed in lime mortar and 5 tons of pure lime grout poured into the wall in stages to fill the hollow core.  Chimney stacks were overhauled and a small amount of repairs carried out to the roof where required which completed the external works. 

    Internally several walls were lined out with breathable wood fibre insulation and finished in traditional  lime plaster, along with making good to all the disturbed areas of wall around the window openings. 

    The above works took us all the way up to Christmas and due to the weather a return trip was made in the spring to apply the 8 coats of lime wash to the walls to finish the project off.

    The whole project although sometimes challenging, due to the nature of the repair works constantly changing to suit the building’s needs, ultimately turned out to be highly successful. This was contributed to by a huge amount of hard work completed by our skilled craftsmen on site, excellent communication and planning between the architect, builder and client and a wonderfully trusting client in Stuart Lambie and family with their patience combined with a genuine understanding of the restoration process. 

  • Roofing
  • Planned Maintenance
  • Structural Repairs
  • Plastering
  • Lead Work
  • Masonry
  • Decorating


Phillips & Curry Ltd have a wealth of experience in all aspects of masonry. We have a team that is dedicated to producing high quality work which complements our other skilled trades.


A natural, renewable resource with a vast array of applications in structures old and new, timber remains the queen of heritage building materials. We believe in using quality, locally-sourced timber which, in the hands of experienced craftspeople, ensures beauty, functionality and durability.


Roofing has always been the mainstay of our business. Mike Curry has over 30 years experience in the trade and is recognised as a leading authority on stone roofing.

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