Towering over the Teign Gorge near Chagford, Castle Drogo is a familiar sight in the Dartmoor landscape. Built between 1911 and 1930 for Julius Drewe, a self-made millionaire owner of the Home and Colonial Stores. Castle Drogo is described as being the realisation of one man’s dream to build a family home that would also be a lasting legacy. Designed by Edwin Lutyens, one of Britain’s greatest architects, the castle is a dramatic granite structure outside and domestic scale family home within and epitomises Lutyens’ ability to manipulate three dimensional spaces.
It was built with the best of materials and craftsmanship but has had integral issues with its construction; from its earliest days the roof has leaked, which resulted in corrosion of the steel work incorporated in the structure; the walls and windows also have construction issues which allow water to penetrate the castle. In the past, several attempts have been made to solve the water ingress problems, which have proved unsuccessful. However, after a meticulous research process a solution has been developed, tested and proved over 4 years which will solve all of these problems.
In order to secure the roof 2355 granite blocks weighing 680 tonnes have to be removed to allow the Bauder Roof system to be installed, before they are replaced. To stop the windows leaking 913 windows containing over 13,000 panes need to be refurbished. To stop the walls leaking over 64km of pointing needs to replaced
The National Trust
The National Trust is a charitable body which was founded in 1895 to protect places of historic interest and natural beauty and make them accessible to the nation. This commitment holds fast today. We seek to improve and deepen the enjoyment and understanding of our built and natural heritage amongst the widest possible audiences through practical conservation, interpretation, participation and learning. Today, we face challenges and opportunities, to deliver our aims in the light of changing and diverse visitor expectations, values and behaviours whilst at the same time preserving some of the most treasured and important heritage assets in the UK.
The Trust has over 4 million members, 5,000 permanent staff and over 66,000 volunteers who contribute over 4 million hours annually in a myriad of roles – equivalent to £33.6 million. The Trust owns over 300 houses which are open to visitors, 160 gardens and 250,000 hectares of countryside including 700 miles of coastline,
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During the period of the project the building repairs project will be used to provide training opportunities for craftsmen, apprentices and members of the public. It’s a fantastic chance for people to get involved directly in both the repairs of an iconic building like Castle Drogo and also, more widely, to improve and develop their traditional skills in building conservation
At the same time, working in conjunction without European partners, The National Trust will develop a European Heritage Skills Passport Scheme that can be used across borders to recognise the achievements of individuals in their training and development in the field of heritage conservation and presentation. This will be the first time such a scheme has been developed trans-nationally which is both challenging and very rewarding.
Partner Contact Information
Address: The National Trust, PO Box 574, Manvers, Rotherham, S63 3FH