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Celebrating 40 Years of Construction

#Throwbackthursday - 1992 - The Dovecote, Merstham, Surrey

Working on behalf of a private client, MCS was appointed to restore a medieval Grade II Listed dovecote located at Gatton Bottom in Merstham in Surrey.

The 14th Century building originally stood proud on land now occupied by Merstham Station. When the railway was built in 1838 it was carefully removed to the present site and re-erected on a foundation of red brick with blue headers.

The tall round building is constructed of coursed freestone with ogee headed openings. The interior is lined with stone shelves at intervals of about 18 ins, integral with wall construction; and on each shelf at intervals of about 2 ft 6 ins are nesting holes. A short top stage, of knapped flint with red brick dressings and corbels supporting an octagonal slated roof was added in the 19th Century.

Following a storm in January 1990 a huge 2 tonne bough from a beech tree fell onto the roof of the much-loved landmark, which can be seen from the M25 motorway.

The philosophy behind MCS’s restoration brief was rebuild the dovecote with ‘minimum intervention’ and not restore the building to its former glory. The client wanted the building to show visual evidence of its history, including the storm damage, this was illustrated with the subtle use of tile repairs and the indication of former nesting box entrances by new concrete ring beams.

Porous and flexible lime and sand mortars have been used in rebuilding brick, stone and flint walling. Repointing is in similar lime mortar with a flush finish so that the walling reads as one and not as a series of individual stones, and the roof has been covered in Welsh slate on timber boards.

Once complete the Surrey Historic Buildings Trust awarded MCS with a Commendation for a ‘distinguished contribution to the conservation and enhancement of Surrey’s architectural heritage’.

To purchase this little piece of history, this private property is currently for sale via:


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