Rising to 170 feet, Hadlow Tower in Hadlow, Kent, was in a sad state before its recent renovation. Among the many elements of the Grade I listed structure that had to be repaired or replaced by specialist contractors were the windows. The work was undertaken by Steel Window Association member, The Cotswold Casement Company, which manufactured 84 replacement steel windows and refurbished nine existing windows.
Hadlow Tower was built in 1838 and only minimal maintenance had been carried out to the octagonal Gothic Revival structure during its life. Those steel windows which could be salvaged were carefully removed to The Cotswold Casement Company’s workshop. Here they were shot blasted and fully refurbished.
The larger job of manufacturing new windows for the tower was more complex. Each window was slightly different and 68 of the steel windows had either shaped heads or glazing above fitted directly into the intricate stonework. Templates were taken of each and, because of the complexity of the shapes, the glazed sections were laser cut.
Due to the building’s listed status, single glazing was used throughout; two windows were glazed with leaded lights manufactured using Polish Cordele glass while the remainder were of laminated glass as much of the glazing runs past staircases or is otherwise vulnerable.
To make steel windows to match the sightlines of the originals, the Cotswold Casement Company employed a combination of standard steel profiles and, for some of the larger windows, a variety of sections from the W20 steel window range. The steel was galvanized and then powder coated black. To maintain the period style, monkey tail stays and handles were fitted.
Trevor Woskett, the Cotswold Casement Company’s Director, comments: “We were involved with Hadlow Tower for some 14 months, undertaking the work as repairs to each floor of the tower progressed. The project proves that modern steel window technology can meet the technical and aesthetic challenges required when undertaking repairs to the most sensitive historic building.”
Since the completion of the renovation, Hadlow Tower has won a number of heritage awards including regional and conservation awards from the RIBA. The building is owned by The Vivat Trust and provides high quality self-catering holiday accommodation while, on the ground floor, there is a visitor centre and exhibition space.
For further information on the Steel Window Association, please visit www.steel-window-association.co.uk or call 0844 249 1355.