The Countess of Cawdor
Brief and Response
GLM was appointed to design and manage a scheme of Historic Scotland grant aided repairs to the celebrated A Listed Cawdor Castle in Morayshire. In order to suit the available drawdown of grant aid, works were phased over four years and were to be carried out during the non-tourist season. The project comprised of the replacement of all existing roof coverings and repairs to stonework including the conservation of carved stone dormer pediments. Detailing was particularly important and it was imperative not to change the
appearance of this much visited and photographed building. Many of the prominent roofs were covered with thick stone slates from a local quarry and while matching slate was unobtainable, some second hand stone slates were sourced. The absence of rhones and chimney cans presented technical challenges as did the skew details, but these problems were resolved by very careful detailing, introducing lead soakers and stainless steel mesh reinforcement to lime mortar fillets. After video inspection of flues, the chimneys were
discretely capped with slate slabs raised on stainless steel bolts to provide ventilation. A conservative and environmental approach was adopted to tackle the timber decay. The conservation of the carved stonework presented philosophical as well as practical difficulties, but working with Graciela Ainsworth, these iconic features of the building have been given a new lease of life. The project was completed very timely, amazingly close to the original budget and the end result boasted a harmonious whole.