Orchard Hill


This house was in poor repair it had been tenanted for many years and little or no maintenance had been done on it. It was a house in need of some attention. Many estate houses befall this fate as their fortunes are intertwined with estate income. This estate in Dorset has had its up and downs and one of the sons decided to make this fantastic house with its views over Corfe Castle and Poole Harbour his family home.

The property is thought to have been two workers cottages that were joined many years ago, the exact dates are a mystery but its thought that this farmhouse was built as part of the main estate works at Encombe. In the foreground you can see the guillotined Purbeck limestone from that local quarry, less than a mile away.

As you can see the existing roof was removed, several principal timbers had failed and the roof was dangerous. The weight of the ‘Scant’ roof slates had taken their toll. The roof timbers were hugely undersized for the loads applied to them, but they lasted seventy plus years or more, it’s believed.

The Finished Project

The roofing felt/breather membrane gave an interesting colour cast to the first floor. This product allows moisture vapor to permeate it from below and keeps the rain out from above, a clever bit of technology, we blend the best of the traditional with the best of modern design and thinking.

We used a lime mortar, not Hydrated lime but Hydraulic, there’s a big difference, one is a plasticiser or admix the other a traditional water permeable solution that allows water in and out.

Too many builders have no idea of the difference, check what is required and make sure your builders are using the right stuff.

The new coping stones on the far gable show which end is new and which end is original. The front lawn will be sown later this spring once all the stones have been removed, or Purbeck mushrooms as they call them!