Hedgemead Park, Bath, Somerset

In 2023 Bath & North East Somerset Council and Harrison Brookes Architects awarded SK Conservation the contract for the stone restoration works.  Hedgemead Park, is a Heritage Grade II listed park and gardens and features decorative stone structures including a wall of battered and buttressed construction featuring a circular castellated turret or prospect tower. The retaining wall and turret date from the construction of the park in 1885-9, built to stabilise the steep slopes of the park landscape.  The tower stonework was degraded and several areas required restoration

Restoring the tower heritage stone work required careful planning including sensitive scaffold erection, expertise, and attention to detail to ensure that the historical and architectural integrity of the structures were preserved.  Working with the council and heritage architect, a survey of the tower identified several areas of disrepair.  Damaged stone beyond repair was carefully broken out. New stone carefully selected so that the grain, texture and colour were closely matched to the existing stone. The new stone cut to exact measured size, was then finished to seamlessly blend with the existing tower stonework, shaped to a curve with an inclined pitch, using a traditional stone axe with a flat blade. Some new stone required pinning and joints between new and existing kept as tight as possible.  Bedding and pointing mortars using a mix of stone dust, lime and finely sieved charcoal to match existing.