Leiston heritage uncovered
Specialists in historical architecture have uncovered rare original details of a historic listed farmhouse on EDF Energy’s land in Leiston, Suffolk.
Upper Abbey Farmhouse was damaged by fire in 2010 destroying the roof and much of the interior.
EDF Energy employed Leigh Alston, an architectural historian from Cambridge University, to conduct a heritage assessment of Upper Abbey Farmhouse before sensitively undertaking restoration work necessary following fire damage.
Leigh said: “The earliest part of the house dates from the 17th century but it contains carved and moulded beams that were probably re-used from a high-status early-16th century building on the same site. A brick extension with a fine door case was added in the 1770s, and despite the fire this survives exactly as depicted on a rare estate map drawn in 1786 by the famous Suffolk artist and cartographer Isaac Johnson. It’s wonderful to see this historic gem restored so sympathetically.”
EDF Energy has enlisted the expertise of Sweett Group in Cambridge to project manage the restoration work whilst Brooks Architects in Leiston are the designers and Morgan Sindall are the specialist contractors based in Ipswich and Norwich.
Michael Paternoster, Senior Site Manager for Morgan Sindall said: "We are using traditional skills such as mortise and tenon joints for the roof trusses and purlins, lime mortar for re-building walls and lime plaster for re-plastering the internal walls.
“This project goes along way to prove that we still have tradesmen out there that have the skills required to turn out the quality of craftsmanship that has been produced on this project.”
The team are also making new windows to match the originals and carefully removing a Victorian porch which hides the fine panelled door case of the fashionable southern façade complete with a broken pediment.
Tim Hannon of Brooks Architects, Lead Designer for the restoration said: “I remember this building as a boy so I am enjoying getting to grips with bringing it back to its former glory. Upper Abbey Farm House is an important part of our local architectural heritage and its listing signifies its national importance too.”
The replacement roof and floor structures are already in place, with work underway inside the building. EDF Energy intends to complete the restoration work of Upper Abbey Farmhouse this year.
For more information contact:Marjorie Barnes
External Communications Manager
EDF Energy is one of the UK’s largest energy companies and the largest producer of low-carbon electricity, producing around one-fifth of the nation's electricity from its nuclear power stations, wind farms, coal and gas power stations and combined heat and power plants. The company supplies gas and electricity to 6 million business and residential customer accounts and is the biggest supplier of electricity by volume in Great Britain.
EDF Energy’s safe and secure operation of its eight existing nuclear power stations at sites across the country makes it the UK’s largest generator of low carbon electricity. EDF Energy is also leading the UK's nuclear renaissance and has published plans to build four new nuclear plants, subject to the right investment framework.
These new plants could generate enough low carbon electricity for about 40% of Britain’s homes. They would make an important contribution to the UK’s future needs for clean, secure and affordable energy. The project is already creating business and job opportunities for British companies and workers.
Through Our Better Energy Ambitions, EDF Energy has developed one of the biggest environmental and social programmes of any British energy company.
In 2014 EDF Energy received seven ‘Big Ticks’ in the Business in the Community (BITC) Responsible Business Awards. In 2013 EDF Energy received the Environmental Leadership for Behavioural Change Award in the national Environment and Energy Awards and was highly commended in the first ever pan European Corporate Social Responsibility Awards scheme for its Sustainable Schools programme – the Pod.
EDF Energy is part of EDF Group, one of Europe’s largest power companies. The company employs around 15,000 people at locations across the UK.
To find out more about the UK's energy challenges look at www.edfenergy.com/energyfuture/