Apethorpe Hall, Northamptonshire
The earliest part is the Great Hall, which was built by Sir Guy Wolston around 1460. The House then developed further with buildings being formed around two courtyards by 1500. The property passed to Sir Walter Mildmay in the 16th Century, who became Chancellor of the Exchequer.
More recently and following years of neglect English Heritage became the owners of Apethorpe Hall in September 2006. Negotiations between the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the previous owners allowed the necessary repair and conservation works to commence.
Apethorpe Hall proved to be an excellent showcase project for E Bowman and Sons, allowing them to show off all of their in-house skills.
Working with Bowmans, MBL restored many historic fittings from shutter box hinges to cast iron drop handles on ornate roses. The drop handles called for our traditional skills to come to the fore, the original handles were carefully assessed prior to repairs, individual parts were then hand made and applied to the historic fittings. For the replica parts, each handle set was individually hand forged and cast as required and the hand made ornate iron rope individually leaded to each plate, the final finishing was carefully applied to both the original and reproduction parts to match the original samples.
Working on principal doors, MBL were tasked to restore the original bolts and manufacture exact reproductions for the missing bolts. Works also included manufacturing new lock cases and rebate sets to match the original patterns from the 18th Century, this allowed the doors to be restored back to their original glory along with restoration of many fine rim and mortise lock sets.
Working on the impressive roof area, MBL designed and installed purpose made stainless steel gas struts and associated fittings to a heavy roof access hatch, all the fittings were designed to allow a safe and easy access to the roof for maintenance purposes.
Our works at Apethorpe Hall provided MBL with some very unique restoration requirements, as well as modern engineering challenges, allowing all aspects of our craftsmanship to be used. The extensive restoration project has been the subject of several television programs.