Hepworth Terracotta at the National Trust

Hepworth Delivers Exacting Standards for Grade I National Trust Restoration Project

A Grade I listed Victorian mansion, which holds significant architectural and historical interest, is being transformed back to its former glory, thanks to the help of Hepworth Terracotta, a brand of Wavin, a market-leading supplier to the construction industry.

The company was tasked with making bespoke roll top ridge tiles for Tyntesfield House in Wraxall, North Somerset as part of a major restoration project which is being undertaken by the National Trust following their purchase of the property in 2002. Unusually the property is remaining open to the public throughout the works, marking the first time the National Trust has conducted such an extensive restoration in full public view.
The mansion, built of mellow Bath stone, has an elaborate roof, bristling with towers and turrets, and a dramatic stone-vaulted chapel. The 19th century interior has survived intact and includes an unrivalled collection of Victorian decorative arts and family memorabilia. Surrounding the house are 500 acres of land including farmland, woodlands, formal gardens and a walled kitchen garden.

Exact Replica

Due to the listed status of the property, the new ridge tiling needed to be sympathetic to the origins of the building and form a continuation of a row of original tiles, replacing those that could not be reclaimed. It was a fundamental requirement that only an exact replica of the original tiling would work, and Hepworth Terracotta was mindful of this requirement throughout the project.

Toby Pitt, from West Country Tiling, the main roofing contractor on the project expressed very exacting requirements from the outset. He explained: “The manor has significant architectural interest including design, decoration and craftsmanship. As a Grade I listed building it also holds exceptional interest, not only in the UK but also internationally. It was therefore very important for us to find a supplier that had the expertise to produce the ridge tiling to an exact standard. Luckily, due to the high quality of the sample provided by Hepworth Terracotta, the buff colour of the clay was a good match with the original, so we were able to sign it off straight away and confidently place the order. After a process of working closely with Hepworth Terracotta and our clients at the National Trust, an exact copy of the original and a quality product was achieved that was perfect for a Grade I listed property of this nature.”

Hepworth Terracotta used one of the original roll top ridge tiles from the roof of the manor house along with outline drawings and images to create a sample which could be assessed for accuracy. 

Paul Wydell, Product Manager for Hepworth Terracotta added: “It’s testament to the technical capability of the terracotta team that this project was completed on time to the exacting needs of the client.

“It’s wonderful to know that as a company we were able to use our specialist skills to provide a product that will play a part in bringing this unique Victorian building back to life for future generations to come.”