Dovecote - Hellens
Pennington-Mellor-Munthe Charitable Trust
The Dovecote at Hellens was constructed in 1641 to a remarkably high standard and is Listed Grade II. It is an octagonal structure built in local brick and stone with plaster details. It originally contained nesting boxes formed in plaster and lath accessed from a first floor timber structure of some sort. By the mid twentieth century all the interior structure and nesting boxes had been removed apart from the central supporting post. The central octagonal turret had been closed up but the majority of the remainder of the structure was in reasonable condition.
As part of the artistic and educational development programmed at Hellens, the Trust obtained permission for reinstating a first floor and staircase and re-glazing the glover to allow the dovecote to be used as an artist’s studio. The new timber structure was designed to reincorporate the original central support and reinstate structural timbers in the original location sockets in the walls.
All the new work is in English Oak. The octagonal structure necessitated very careful detailing of the structural intersection and a distinctive octagonal boarded pattern for the new floor. Construction of the staircase acknowledged the shape of the building resulting in radiating treads emphasising this shape.
The re-opening of the lantern and limewashing of the interior of the building has resulted in a light airy space for the studio.
Externally the building was sensitively repaired. As well as repairs to the glover, the roof was re-covered with a mixture of plain tiles and stone slates, which replicated the original roofing pattern and two new oak windows were installed in to the existing openings.