The Windows of Wheathills
The impact on a
period building when inappropriate windows replace the
originals can be devastating.
At Wheathills the worst
windows were replaced with copies of the originals
as soon as possible. New sliding sash windows were copied
from original existing first floor windows made around
1810, which have fine moulded
glazing beads and are tenonned into the frame and each
All of the new windows have been hand built in the Wheathills
workshops within the building. The hand worked techniques
used in those days have not changed much over the years
- only electrical saws and routers speed the process today.
Hand finishing with hand tools such as chisels and block
planes is the best way to achieve the high quality appearance
of original sash windows and to avoid softening of detail,
such as quirks and the shaped edge of a mould the window
is finally hand sanded.
Once all the joints have been formed and trimmed, the
frame can be assembled dry in order to check the quality
and accuracy of each component and joint.
Because the joints
are true, the window can be assembled without glue or
cramps and when the Cabinet maker is satisfied, each window
is glued together with reversible animal glue as originally
Each window is fitted with stainless steel screws from
the inside and plugged, so in the event of an accident
they could be removed with little damage. When complete
the window frame is fitted and the hand-made glass panes
are puttied in and secured.
In total there are over 33 traditional
sash windows to replace or repair. To complete the window
stage of the restoration programme much more work is yet
to be done - fitting the appropriate hand-made brass fittings,
parts of the mortar joints, and making good of the window