Historic restoration project completed in Suffolk

Upper Abbey Farmhouse, which is on EDF Energy’s land in Leiston, was damaged by fire in 2009 which destroyed the roof and much of the interior.

To mark the completion of the restoration project EDF Energy and its contractor Morgan Sindall welcomed Sheila Gedny, who was born in the house, her husband Dougie and their daughter Linda for a VIP tour along with other local guests with a connection to the building.

It was a trip down memory lane for the Gedny’s who had not stepped foot in the house for many years.  Sheila’s father Herbert Smith worked on the farm estate, which was managed by the Rope family, and her grandfather Lacey Smith was the farm foreman and mechanic.

Mrs Gedny officially opened the building alongside Paul Morton, EDF Energy’s Sizewell B Station Director.

Paul Morton said: “It was a pleasure to meet the Gedny family and to officially mark the completion of restoration work on Upper Abbey Farmhouse. We have worked closely with our contractors to ensure this historic building was restored to its former glory.” 

EDF Energy employed a team of specialists to undertake the restoration work on the listed building once the history of the house had been researched by an architectural historian from Cambridge University.

EDF Energy enlisted the expertise of Sweett Group in Cambridge to manage the restoration project. Brooks Architects in Leiston completed the designs and Morgan Sindall in Ipswich were the specialist contractors.

Michael Paternoster, Senior Site Manager for Morgan Sindall said: “Our team is delighted to have played a part in the delivery of this complex restoration project which has drawn upon and showcased the work of many talented craftspeople across Suffolk and Norfolk.”