Woodkirk Stone Sales Ltd
Tel: 0113 253 0464
Fax: 0113 252 7520
Woodkirk Stone of Morley near Leeds, West Yorkshire has just featured on the Channel 4 TV programme, Grand Designs.
The fine grained sandstone from Britannia Quarry was specially selected by English Heritage for use in the unique restoration of Hellifield Peel in North Yorkshire.
Architect and Peel owner Francis Shaw of award winning Brewster Bye Architects in Leeds, first saw the castle when he was 14 years old. It stirred a passion in him that was to be the saving grace of this historic building that was on the verge of being just a pile of rubble.
Some historians had written the 14th Century Peel off as being beyond repair, one even said it had been demolished. When Francis and his wife Karen, bought it in 2004 they had a dream that this castle would be a home, their home. Not only did the project need planning and listed building consent for the restoration to proceed, it also needed Scheduled Ancient Monument Consent, described by Kevin McCloud of Grand Designs as being “not for whimps….the grand daddy of all building consents.”
In order to comply with the stringent restrictions of Scheduled Ancient Monument Consent, only stone from an English Heritage approved quarry was permitted for use. Following an extensive search, it became clear that Woodkirk Stone from Britannia Quarries was the best possible material for the sympathetic regeneration of this unrivalled, fragile ancient monument.
During the course of the build, almost 300 tonnes of Yorkshire Stone was supplied by Woodkirk and used to repair and consolidate the main structure, renovate crennelations and create new internal arches, fireplaces, finely carved corbels and other decoration. Head Stone Mason,
Jason Henfrey found using Woodkirk Stone a joy. He says it is “uniform in texture and grain which means that it carves exceedingly well and looks great.” These properties are so important when recreating the fine detail demanded of a project such as this where every missing mullion, transom, jamb, corbel and arch become a matter of sensitive restoration.
Massive fireplaces were created to give a feeling of solidity and completeness to the interior of the only building in recent history to be removed from English Heritage’s “at risk” register and turned back into a fine country house.