Fredericks and their architect, Adam Bench of Buxton, recognise that it is important to preserve the essential character of this rare building and to take a sensitive approach in deciding on how to design an extension. Adam Bench is one of the best known conservation architects within Derbyshire, and has a strong reputation for sensitive solutions to historic buildings.
Internally the walls of Thimble Hall will be repaired and part re-plastered in a lime/horse-hair plaster and the paint will be analysed so that the authentic distemper can be reinstated. The ceiling and floor will be repaired and the existing 20th-century ladder is to be replaced by a fixed ladder of a more traditional form. Both chimney breasts will be repaired and hob-grates re-installed. Reinstatement of the interior will be meticulously undertaken complete with furniture and chattels appropriate to an 18th-century humble house of tiny proportions.
As the existing internal floor plan measures 7ft 1" by 8ft 1", there is insufficient space for a gallery to function. The solution has been to propose a frameless glazed extension to the rear of the building. The main walls of the cottage will still be visible and remain un-plastered. The design of the extension includes an external staircase, enabling a ladder to be retained as a feature of the special interest of the historic building. The new staircase wraps around the limestone core of the building, reducing its impact on the external elevations, freeing up the translucency of the extension and making use of an otherwise redundant space.
Modern extensions can look tired and dated quickly, so to avoid this the highest quality materials have been chosen and the structure has been designed so that it can be removed in the future without impacting on the listed building.
Please revisit this section to see how renovations are progressing.