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Cullompton Walronds Preservation Trust

Thursday 14th August 2014

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

The purpose of this letter is to recommend to any prospective client the excellent services of Splitlath Building Conservation Ltd.

The Walronds is an ancient property, listed Grade l. It fell into disrepair and was placed on the English Heritage at risk register and was in imminent danger of collapse. The CWPT inherited the property in 2004 and set about raising funds for restoration. It received grant aid from the Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage, Devon County Council and many others.

After being shrouded in scaffolding and a temporary roof in 2011, a development round was undertaken leading to full specifications and the preparation of bills of quantity which were put out to tender. The lowest offer came from Splitlath. Work began on site in October 2012 and was completed in time for a formal opening by HRH The Duke of Gloucester on 13 June 2014.

The property has been changed by Splitlath, led by the site director Shaun Gay, and his foreman, Darron Price, from a near ruin to a lovely building and garden with fine approaches. The standard of workmanship throughout has been very high. The main part of the building dates from work done between 1602 and 1605 following a fire. It contains original timber screens and panelling, decorative plasterwork and original glass. It is one of the most historically and architecturally important dwelling houses in Devon. Splitlath have given it a new roof of triple-lapped slate, and a protective covering with 90 tons of lime mortar. With the help of new Cintec technology, walls have been strengthened woth over 100 rods of stainless steel. Almost all weight bearing beams and many rafters and purlins now have stainless steel inserts as well as many stainless steel lintels, cleverly concealed. Every window has been removed and restored in frames made to templates designed by Shaun. Doors, floors, panelling have all been repaired and many new items have been installed. Fire proofing and insulating materials have been put under almost all floors amounting to many tons in weight and fire prevention measures are now in place throughout the house. The building has been given a completely new electrical installation and the plumbing and heating systems have also been replaced. Electricity and water have been provided in storage sheds in the gardens. The rear entrance has a new drive and electrically operated gates to the car park. The oldest part of the house and the garden walls are made of cob, much of which had been damaged by a covering of cement. All the cob has been repaired or replaced and preserved with a covering of lime mortar.

It has been a very complicated operation requiring constant supervision and real craftmanship. Shaun has an uncanny ability to keep a 3 dimensional picture of the task both in space and in time in his mind. With Darron to help keep a firm grip on the progress and standard of work, Shaun has done a wonderful job for us which exceeds our expectations.

I have no hesitation in recommending this excellent team to any prospective client.

Yours faithfully,

Colonel Michael Woodcock MBE

Trustee and Company Secretary

Colonel Michael Woodcock OBE

Benjamin + Beauchamp Architects Ltd, Somerset

We have found Splitlath to be an excellent specialist conservation building contractor with an interest in the delivery of a high quality project. Their focus is on the building and the work required. Throughout they either used 'in-house' staff or sub-contractors with the appropriate high skills required. They have been very responsive to the challenges that our project threw up and have been pro-active in their approach to solving solutions. I would not hesitate to recommend them for high quality and challenging conservation and repair projects.

Marcus Chantrey AABC SCA Project Director

Vivat Trust

I can’t thank you enough for a wonderful and inspirational visit to the Walronds. To see what you’re achieving (in a building the like of which I haven’t seen in a town) was such a vindication of all that we in our passion for historic buildings stand for.

Paul Gray, Chairman

St. Mary's The Virgin Church, Shawbury

I have worked with Splitlath on a church tower refurbishment and found them to be professional and reliable. Richard, Shaun and the team at Splitlath were a pleasure to deal with and I'd have no hesitation in recommending them.

Simon Hughes for SP PROJECTS LIMITED

Falcolner & Gilbert Scott Architects

To whom it may concern,

We recently worked with Splitlath on the HLF funded conservation project at Stroud Congregational Church.

Splitlath employed skilled personnel who demonstrated good conservation skills and carried out the work sensitively. They accomodated church events and scaffold tours as part of HLF requirements which were enjoyed by those that took part.

Site meetings were attended by the foreman and project manager and the site was well managed and kept tidy throughout. Regular site progress reports were issued at each meeting and communicating with the team about any aspect of the works was never an issue.

Splitlath completed the works at Stroud Congregational Church on time and on budget and we would not hesitate to include them on tender lists for future conservation projects.

Lucia Milone

St Michaels & All Angels Church

On behalf of the PCC I write to thank you for you and your staff most sincerely for a job well done on the decoration of part of the interior of the Church. We are delighted with the work and are looking forward to being in a position to proceed to Phase II. We must say that your staff we re most professional, helpful and co-operative working around Services, including the funeral of a former Churchwarden. We look forward to working with them again in the not too distant future.

Miss J . Mary Thorpe

Wheatley & Lines Architects

The contracts are of size varying between £30,000 to £200,000 are among the most demanding of their nature requiring the highest level of on-site workmanship, coordination and management. The works in progress are proceeding very well, and are very close to programme and cost targets. I have come to know many of Splitlath’s operatives during recent years and particularly value their expertise, resourcefulness and well to achieve targets often considered impossible by other contractors.

J.G.J Wheatley

The Church of St Mary Magdalene

We were all very impressed with the quality of the workmanship - the Tower staircase is a masterpiece! - the contract was completed on time - and within budget! Andrew and his team have done a magnificent job, and the appearance of the Tower Roof from the A456 does great credit to you all, and we have received many compliments from local’s and visitors. Please convey our appreciation to Andrew, and to all the scaffolding contractors, who also came in for praise, and to all those who contributed to a job very well done.

W J Francis, Hon Secretary

Peregrine Bryant, Architecture & Conservation, London.

Splitlath were knowledgable on timber framed buildings with a wealth of experience. They were skilled in working on a listed building and managed their site well with limited impact on adjoining areas and were able to accommodate the client remaining within other buildings on the site during the works. We would not hesitate in recommending Splitlath who were pleasant to deal with and also took variations and changes due to client and discovered building requirements within their stride.

Benedict Goodall

St. Peter's Church, Dunchurch

I was churchwarden of St. Peter's Church, Dunchurch when we chose Splitlath to carry out restoration to the exterior masonry of our medieval, grade 2* listed church.

The work was carried out to a high standard by a team which showed pride in their workmanship. We were particulary pleased that Splitlath were happy to meet with us on a regular basis to explain progress, to attend to unexpected issues as they arose and to engage with our congregation including a demonstartion of the stonemason's art at a public open day. Richard Nash was a helpful and diligent site manager and ensured that we (and our architect) were happy at every stage.

I would have no hesistation in recommmending Splitlath whole heartedly and we were pleased that we selected them for our project.

Best Wishes,

Chris Sarson

Chris Sarson

St. Mary The Virgin Church, Shawbury, Shropshire

St. Mary The Virgin Church, Shawbury, Shropshire has undergone a massive restructuring of the 15th Century church tower, chancel roof repair and water disposal systems undertaken by Splitlath BC. The project management, conservation work and site management was all excellent and remained in budget. A great many thanks to your excellent team.

Champagne all round!

Many thanks again to all our professionals who have worked tirelessly as a team to make this project a success.

Kind Regards

Cadi Price, Severn Gorge Countryside Trust

Tiddington Hall Farm, Kington, Worcestershire

The Splitlath team of builders were very friendly and helpful, they certainly demonstrated their skill and craftmanship in completing the extension to our half timbered farmhouse.

We are very pleased with the finished building.

Best Wishes

Ian & Liz Thorpe

Kingstone Church, Herefordshire

It has been our pleasure to work with Splitlath on two projects. The first involving a sensitive re-ordering to a 14th Century, Grade ll Medieval Church and the second an extension to a Grade ll Listed building.

The works have been carried out to a very good standard. We have also been pleased with the good working relationship and proactive attitude of all the operatives, both in the office and on site. We are always keen for Splitlath to price for our projects and enjoy working with them to deliver projects on site.

I am therefore happy to act as a reference of Splitlath.

Kind Regards

Alex Cooper R.I.B.A., Director, Communion Architects

Stroud Congregational Church

Dear Sirs,

I write with reference to the recently completed work carried out by Splitlath Building Conservation at the Stroud Congregational Church. The project was to replace six very large windows, associated masonry work, and works to the main entrance tower.

All work was completed according to the schedule, on time, on budget and to the highest standard.

We found the site to be well managed and the work team to be polite and courteous at all times. The site was kept tidy during the week, safety being given the highest priority and left properly secured at the end of each working day.

Their respect for the church and their cooperation with working with us enabled us to continue serving our congregation, allowing us full use of the church building each weekend during the 16 week project, for which we are very grateful.

We have great pleasure in recommending Splitlath Building Conservation to you.

Marilyn Lust, Church Secretary