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Heritage roofing experts help families caring for Rotherham manor house

Families who call a Georgian manor house in Rotherham home found expertise on the doorstep when they needed to call in heritage skills.

Sheffield specialist Martin-Brooks were called on to re-roof two annexes and rebuild two chimneys at Grade II listed Thundercliffe Grange in Kimberworth.

The former home of the Earls of Effingham is now one of England’s oldest co-living projects.

Since 1980, a community of 12 homes has existed in the three-storey house, its annexes and coach houses. Residents maintain the property, which dates to before 1780, and its grounds.

The roofing task was tiny in comparison to the Darnall-based company’s current main project. Its expert heritage joiners and slaters are currently re-roofing Nottingham Castle.

Their pivotal role in the £30 million refurbishment, one of the UK’s most significant heritage regeneration projects of recent years, sees them reroofing the castle’s Ducal Palace.

The firm, renowned for its heritage expertise, launched 35 years ago and has worked on numerous high profile projects. Previous commissions include Lincoln and Bolsover castles.

“When it comes to a heritage project, a small job is just as important as a major project. Exactly the same degree of attention to detail has to be applied,” said Dale Wright, contracts director.

“Thundercliffe Grange is a lovely example of Georgian architecture and it has listed status. It was crucial we carried out the work sympathetically, replacing original materials like-for-like and ensuring the task was done to the same methods.”

Some four tonnes of reclaimed Westmoreland Green slates were sourced to keep costs down for occupants.

Slates were laid in diminishing courses on the four-hipped roof covering two homes grouped around an internal courtyard. A stone chimney was completely replaced and a brick stack was partly rebuilt.

Martin-Brooks is listed on the National Federation of Roofing Contractors’ (NFRC) heritage register and its MD John Elmore was recently appointed Yorkshire and North East regional chair. He is also on the national board of directors and the organisation’s heritage committee.

Architect Alistair Haxton, a resident of Thundercliffe Grange, said: “The upkeep of the grange is very important to us all. We feel we are custodians, ensuring a building built over 240 years ago stays in good shape for future generations. Knowing what important heritage restoration projects Martin-Brooks have undertaken, we knew we were in safe hands.”

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