Conservation Work

Altham Oak’s mastery of traditional carpentry techniques and tools employed for several centuries has led owners of listed buildings to seek our assistance on restoration and repair schemes..

We’ve undertaken sympathetic repairs to oak frames and timbers on several historic buildings and structures. Our portfolio of oak conservation projects covers everything from external restoration of decorative oak panels to full hand-cut replacements of rotted structural frames and trusses.

In all we do, we want to sell the English Oak tradition as part of our products. Our carpenters have attended many practical courses in historically accurate methods and techniques, and our designer has a Post Graduate Diploma in Building Conservation (Timber).

We are able to convert a tree, to suitable sized beams, following its natural shape, unlike a sawmill. The finished product then more closely resembles the timber in older buildings. The coherence of natural forms in some old buildings can be lost by one modern replacement with a straight bandsaw beam.

Wootton Bassett Town Hall

Wootton Bassett Town Hall is an old timber framed Market Hall on a ground storey of stone columns. It was ‘restored’ by the Victorians 100 years ago with techniques that were causing problems last year. Hard cement render panels were causing oak to rot. Decorative curved braces cut from straight oak were failing along short grain lines. Nailed joints rusted through and became loose.

Altham Oak and Carpentry did all the site carpentry and joinery work leaving the frame in the ‘after’ state. The main Contractor, Cliveden Conservation did the stonework, relathing, porous lime rendering and limewashing. We used stainless fixings to replace the nailed joints and cut the curved braces from bent stock.