The roof was originally wet laid scantle slate, but the roof slope on the right of the photo was the only one that survived, the other three since replaced with asbestos fibre cement slates. The roofs have now been re-slated using slates from Trevillett quarry, wet laid with diminishing courses on the left, wet laid with even courses on the right. The rusty corrugated roof over the stairway has been replaced with zinc of the same profile.
The original lime pointing on the masonry walls was either defective or had been replaced with a cement-based mortar, which doesn’t allow the walls to breathe. This was all removed and repointed with a lime mortar. The plastic guttering and downpipes were replaced with zinc rainwater goods. and the cottage windows and front door were overhauled.
The chimney stack was dismantled and rebuilt, and these photos show the typical red clay ridge tiles from Bridgwater and the gable roof detail. Photographs taken of John Wells in the studio show a skylight over the large east window, which had subsequently been roofed over. This skylight has been reinstated.
This shows the two large north-facing windows which provide natural light for the studio. The larger window had rotted and been replaced in 2006. The other window had been replaced some time ago, possibly when the skylight was removed, but not as the original. This has now been reinstated based on the archive photos. The original timber cladding on this elevation had been recently rebuilt with cement render scored to resemble timber joints. This was all replaced with new timber cladding.
Most of the timber cladding on the gable wall was reusable, but much of the structure and cladding of the south timber wall had rotted and was therefore replaced. The gable window seen in early paintings and photos had been boarded over, but its outline was still visible. This was returned. A new limecrete path with exposed aggregate and steps provides safer access to the studio.
The ‘cottage’ features incorporated into the original building to provide a backdrop for paintings of interiors are all still evident. The cottage windows, tongue and groove dado panelling, window seats and fireplace with Delft tiles were all overhauled where necessary. The plaster has been repaired and limewashed.
Most of the roof timbers had failed, and were repaired or replaced. The floor was mostly sound, but the joist ends were in a poor condition and they were repaired. Where possible, the internal boarding was numbered and carefully removed to allow for structural repairs and insulation, and refixed as before, otherwise new boarding was used. Track lighting has been installed to allow artists to use different lighting systems.
This shows the new windows installed as part of the renovations: the large north-facing window and skylight over, a typical north light studio window, and the replacement gable window. There is a painting wall either side of the window, with another on the south wall; this provides a surface for artists to hang work on without damaging the building fabric.