Preston-based Conlon Construction has been appointed to carry out reconstruction works to the Grade II listed Wythenshawe Hall in Manchester, which was damaged by a blaze last year.
Commissioned by Manchester City Council through the North-West Construction Hub (NWCH), the first phase will see Conlon Construction carry out remedial works to the external building fabric. The constructor will work alongside Manchester-based Buttress Architects and Thomasons, structural engineers with speciality in fire damaged buildings.
March 15, 2017 marked the first anniversary of the fire at Wythenshawe Hall which dates back to 1540. The building has been on Historic England’s At Risk Register after the blaze damaged many of its original features last year.
The repairs include making the building weather tight and replacing its temporary roof with a traditional slate roof. Historically, the Hall would have had a stone roof but severe fire damage to its timber frame has meant this option is too heavy to retain. Conlon will also carry out repairs on-site to the bell tower that was removed from the building following the fire, and re-install it on the restored Hall once work is complete.
Extensive repair work is also needed to restore original windows. Surviving windows will be taken off site for conservation and these will be re-installed as part of the programme.
Neal Charlton, director at Butteress Architects, said: “After carrying out in-depth analysis on the remaining fragments of glass, we believe that one of the windows that melted away in the fire was original to the building’s construction and a replica of this will be created using available photographs.
“We have a long-standing relationship with Wythenshawe Hall, having completed a number of projects on the site before the building was struck by fire.
“It’s a great shame to see the damage that’s been caused but we’re looking forward to taking steps to restore the Hall to its former glory, drawing on our heritage and restoration experience to deliver a great result.”
Michael Conlon, chairman at Conlon Construction added: “We have extensive experience working with historic and heritage buildings, including the Grade I listed Heaton Hall in Manchester and the Grade II listed County Hall in Lancashire. We feel honoured to deliver the first phase of the reconstruction work for Wythenshawe Hall. The building is of local significance and a source of pride to the community and we look forward to putting the damage right and conserving it for future generations.”