Conservation New Build, Rushton Hall

The Challenge

Surrounded by 25 acres of grounds and boasting a lake, ancient trees and walking trails, Rushton Hall is one of the finest hotels in Northamptonshire.

Project Details

With buildings dating from the 16th century, the decision to extend the facilities with a beautiful Orangery wasn’t taken lightly. It took just over a decade to be approved after going through several planning processes – including getting the green light from Historic England.

We were first approached in 2015 by the client who had hired Pavilion Estates and Malcolm Strangeway Architects to realise their vision. After offering a number of limestones to Historic England and to the client, they eventually decided on our beautiful Clipsham and engaged us as technical experts, providing tailored advice and project support.

Taking the basic outlines of the façades from the architect’s drawings, we added in all the details required for the final design. We were able to advise the client that the stone piers would safely carry the weight of the stone above, avoiding the need for any secondary steel structure.

Deciding where best to place joints between stones depended upon several factors: a requirement for structural stability, the need to ensure adequate bonding together of successive courses and as far as is practical, ease of handling during construction on site.

Details of the mouldings were finalised, drawn in and confirmed with the client’s design team.

Working with 3mm joints, we had to show the boundaries of every stone so that each piece could be cut to the right size. We also needed to make full-size templates for the masons to work the stone from. All stones were given an identifying number so that the fixers on site knew which stones to put where.

We provided large-scale drawings of the different elevations, with plan sections through many courses, and vertical sections of different types of construction – both essential references both for production and fixing of the stone.

We also advised on, and helped design where necessary, any special fixings or steelwork required to help hold the stone in position.

The Difference

With five stages of construction, this was a complex yet rewarding project.
Teamwork and collaboration were the key to success.

Over an 18 month period, we worked closely with the team on site, making regular visits and co-ordinating the programme of works and deliveries using our own fleet of vehicles.

All bespoke stone work was quarried at our Clipsham quarry and manufactured at our stone processing centre at Helpston, facilitated by our state of the art 6 Axis Marchetti CNC machine. Once finished, it was carefully wrapped and delivered to site for the fixing team to assemble.

Under the direction of Lee Muxlow, a team of specialist fixer masons put the stones together, working on several parts of the site simultaneously. Having been safely and correctly placed, the alignment of the mouldings was checked and adjusted if required, the stones were then pointed and given a final rub and wash down.

Our contribution didn’t stop there… we also supplied stone flooring, tiles and landscaping products from our Stamford Stone At Home portfolio.

Completed at a cost of £7 million, the stunning new Orangery was unveiled in the summer of 2017 and welcomed its first wedding in July.

We are already very proud of what Rushton Hall has to offer our guests but the purpose-built Orangery with its latest audio visual system and high speed WiFi means it is ideal for 21st century events.

With the input from Historic England The Orangery will keep the feel and grandeur
of the original 15th century hall.

TOM GILBERT, HEAD OF SALES AND MARKETING, RUSHTON HALL