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Timber Frame

We pride ourselves in our understanding of traditional carpentry techniques.  Our workforce are highly experienced in the sensitive repair and conservation of timber framed buildings and mills  We are also skilled in designing and creating new timber framed structures, typically where they complement an existing historic building or setting.   Over the years we have worked on and created numerous timber framed structures from houses and barns through to boats, bridges, lock gates and drawbridges.


As well as physically carrying out works we also provide consultancy where condition surveys and repair specifications are required. We love being part of the team and working with ‘like minded’ clients and consultants by offering our extensive practical experience and understanding of these special buildings.

"Where costs are a concern we have a number of predesigned structures that are amazingly flexible and can be used for a variety of purposes and maybe configured to provide differing living and work environments."

Ockwells Manor

Ockwells manor

Ockwells Manor remains almost entirely as built for Sir John Norreys in approximately 1450. The Manor is one of the finest examples of a medieval timber framed Hall House left intact from this period. It is thought that craftsmen from nearby Eaton College were involved in the original construction which features expertly fine carved timbers and patterned brick infill. Within the frame work are beautiful examples of stained glass windows featuring 15th-century heraldic achievements which are set high to allow space below for hanging fabrics or tapestry.


The project was extremely sensitive with the delicate windows almost at the point of no return, and the oak decorative window frames round having rotted severely which had exasperated the situation. The timber frame had to be carefully propped and the windows removed for repair at Owlsworths’ leaded light workshop. The lead cames within the lights had buckled beyond repair and were completely renewed along with numerous repairs to the glass including repairs to splits and cracks where possible as well the introduction of new glass appropriately decorated where required.

The structural timber frame as well the window frames themselves required careful conservation, with Owlsworth, via use of careful repairs managing to retain as much of the original fabric as possible. There were however significant works to the arched window heads, mullions and bottom rails plus the structural elements including the tie beams and wall plates. All of which were highly decorative and had to be carefully pieced in with the elements which were retained.

Chilling Place Barn

Walton Upon Thames

Alongside our work at the great barn at Harmondsworth, the timber frame repairs at Chilling Place remain some of the largest and most intricate we have encountered. Unlike Harmondsworth, the concept at Chilling was very different, the Barn would not be restored to its original intended state but rather converted into a hunting lodge.

Chilling Place is an extremely large barn and the works involved to deliver the project were significant. Initially the barn needed to be stabilised and the roof removed to allow the timber frame repairs to be carried out. A number of the large repairs were unusually at roof level where the roof coverings had failed. As such the the team didn’t have the luxury of being able to see the repair in front of them, the large sections of oak were cut to size on the ground before being craned into position.

Other aspects of the project included brand new services throughout, consolidation of the masonry plinth, lime plastering and blacksmithing. Whilst a number of bespoke items were manufactured specifically to suit the size and unique internal dimensions, these included new staircases, a mezzanine floor and kitchen. Even the lighting was custom built with our blacksmith manufacturing custom shades in our forge which measured approximately 5ft tall and 4ft across.

A beautiful 15th Century farmhouse in Walton upon Thames had through years of neglect begun to show significant signs of deterioration and Owlsworth Conservation were asked to prop, open the building up for investigation and help devise scheme of appropriate repairs.

Owlsworth have roots firmly based in building conservation and our philosophy of repair largely follows SPAB principals of minimal intervention using honest repairs in order to maximize historic fabric retention.

Ultimately delicate timber frame and infill panel repairs were carried out insuring maximum retention of the historic timber frame. Where new sections of timber were required these were fitted largely using traditional scarf joints, and reinforced with discrete bespoke hand forged iron work. Open joints were sealed using a combination of oakum and well haired fat lime mortar.

In fill panels were largely wattle and daub and where repairs where no longer possible, daub panels were removed and reconstituted before the ultimate reconstruction of the wattle & daub, lath & plaster panels.

The project allowed for breathable insulation to be introduced as well as significant roof and window repairs.

Chilling Place Barn
Walton on thames lime washed timber frame
Walton on thames timber frame C16th
Contact us for a full project list and references. 


Tower Of London White Tower New External Staircase
Wall plate  Corner post Intersection Scarf Joint Repair
National Botanic Garden of Wales Rustic Bridge
Barn Repurposing Hunting Lodge
Timber Frame Repairs
Harmondsworth Medieval Barn
St Aldates Oxford Timber Frame Repair
St Aldates Oxford Roof Repairs
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