Brief and Response
B-Listed Thornton Castle had been in the same family for generations so when our client moved with their young family from the comfort of an Edinburgh New Town flat to take their turn in what was then a rather gloomy mansion in the depths of the country, they were determined to make it suit their lifestyle and to be able, in due course, to hand it onto the next generation in good order. However it appeared, on the face of it, to be nearly impossible to change. The second floor was really little more than an attic approach by a narrow
servant’s stair. The resultant house has indeed become a comfortable and convenient place for a 21st century family to grow up in. The key to making the house work was to create a new staircase from the first to the second floor with a rooflight above it letting light flood into the centre of the house. We designed this stair in oak to complement the main Edwardian staircase. We replicated the design of some existing dormer windows from the front to the back of the house and repositioned one dormer by a matter of inches because its
misalignment had always annoyed our client. An odd aspect of the house was its disconnection from the garden so we converted two Georgian windows into French doors. A subsequent phase of work saw cement plaster stripped from the inside walls of a spiral staircase and replaced with lime plaster, PVC windows replaced in timber and the stonework on the ancient Keep repaired and meticulously pinned and pointed with lime mortar.