Duke St, Tavistock

Duke St in Tavistock’s town centre is a Conservation Area and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

9-18 Duke Street is Grade II Listed and is formed of a row of elegant shops with residential properties above. Located adjacent to the Pannier Market and the Town Hall, it forms part of the historic market complex developed by the 7th Duke of Bedford between 1840 and 1860.

Parkes Lees Architects were commissioned by Tavistock Town Council to undertake a condition survey of 9-18 Duke Street. In  2017 Listed Building Consent was received for conservation repairs.

Masonry – The buildings are constructed from local Hurdwick stone which was used for the main cluster of the mid nineteenth century buildings constructed by the 7th Duke of Bedford. The main focus of the conservation work is pointing. Pointing is the action of filling the gaps between stones with a mortar to protect the stone from water ingress and damage. Firstly, the existing mortar joints have to be carefully raked out by hand – in some places this will involve the removal of hard cement mortars. This is a highly skilled job as care must be taken to ensure that damage to the existing stone work is kept to an absolute minimum. Once the joint has been raked out to a sufficient depth it is further prepared by a thorough brushing out so no loose material is left that may compromise the bond of the fresh once it is placed. The stonework and joints are then dampened down and the lime mortar applied. Although pointing with lime can happen all year round with protection from adverse weather and frost, the ideal time is between April and September. Samples of existing mortars from the buildings have been taken to determine the final mix used and pointing ‘style’ has been agreed with the Conservation Officer. A small amount of the badly decayed Hurdwick stone is to be replaced with new stone (from the Forest of Dean).

Rainwater goods – The building is served by cast iron gutters and downpipes. All historical rainwater goods will be fully refurbished. All existing plastic rainwater goods will be replaced with cast iron.

Windows – All the windows will be refurbished. All the windows that have seized or been painted shut will be eased. Timberwork will be restored and the new catches installed as required.

Shopfronts – Will remain unaffected by the conservation repairs.

This project has been funded by Tavistock Town Council. For further information please visit the Town Councils website https://www.tavistock.gov.uk/

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