Oak Beams Play a Major Role in Finchingfield Guildhall Restoration

Pupils at Finchingfield Primary School paid a visit to their historic medieval guildhall this week, which is in the process of undergoing a thorough restoration – and using the best in oak carpentry techniques as it does so.

The guildhall in the picture postcard Essex village was established in 1470, and has been in use ever since. At the moment, the guildhall has had its more modern exterior stripped away, with the roof tiles and wall coverings all gone, so the pupils were able to see the original oak beams that make up its frame.

Fairhurst Ward Abbotts site foreman Tony Loades was on hand to take questions from the children, and he also showed them the new oak beams that will be used to restore the rooms to a more authentic medieval state and reaffirm the project’s commitment to wood conservation.

This accompanying video gives us a fascinating computer rendition, providing an overview of the restoration process, with particular attention paid to the hall’s transformation into an open-plan environment – oak beam supports replace dividing walls in many cases – and its re-purposing, with a new entrance hall and gift shop, an historical museum, an indoor glass-panelled walkway, a community library and an enlarged multi-purpose guildroom.