The sensitive restoration of the beautiful Grade II* Listed Owletts in Gravesham Kent was carried out in conjunction with our client the National Trust.

This striking red brick house dates from the Carolean era being originally constructed circa 1684 with various later alterations and additions carried out in the 18th and 19th centuries. The family home of Sir Herbert Baker, born at Owletts in 1862 and one of the most celebrated architects of the Edwardian era, being a collaborator of Edwin Lutyens with whom he worked on New Delhi. Baker himself lived at Owletts and he made further alterations to his beloved family home which included a rear library extension and the addition of an entrance hallway and landing in the original part of the house.

Clague coordinated the project in conjunction with the National Trust and conservationists to obtain the necessary listed building and building regulations consents and manage the £1million building contract on site.

The house has some typical features of the Carolean period being built in a warmly toned red brick, with moulded brick string courses and panelled brick parapet below a steeply pitched hipped tiled roof with two massive panelled chimney stacks. There is a pedimented doric order timber door surround to the main entrance on the seven bay front elevation whilst the rear north facade containing the staircase is marked by two tall “croise” windows with leaded lights and three distinctive ox eye windows above.

The repairs and alterations which we carried out involved external fabric and masonry repairs to the house, plus the upgrade of service installations within. The aim of the work was to bring it up to current standards, to preserve and showcase the house to enable it to be re-opened to the public.

The most significant alteration was the reinstatement of Sir Herbert Baker’s library which had latterly been converted into a kitchen. The alteration had the dual benefit of enabling an original book collection to be relocated to the library to assist in the long-term conservation of the books and to allow for greater public access into one of the most significant parts of the house.

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