- Project Weald & Downland Museum
- Sector Education
- Location South East
- Tile Product Clay Handmade Tile
- RTA Member Spicer Tiles
In January 2015, the Weald & Downland Living Museum embarked on the dismantling of a late 18th century barn and early 19th century stables at May Dale Farm, Tonbridge, along with a cart shed from Pallingham Quay Farm, in West Sussex. After careful dismantling, the timbers were conserved and stored at the Museum, before re-erection in 2018. The structures needed to be put back together on site at the Museum using as much of the original materials as possible, and where not possible, a suitable like for like replacement was needed. In this case the roof tiles and laths needed replacing.
Where materials could not be safely reused, acceptable alternatives needed to be sourced. The peg tiles on the project had been subject to centuries of frost and weather damage and could not safely be reused. Spicer Tiles were tasked with producing bespoke tiles, sympathetic to the size, shape, colour and camber of the original peg tiles used.
Manorwood Construction undertook the works on this project, and specify Spicer Tiles on a number of similar projects for their ability to help roofs blend in with a rural setting, and where a product is needed to perform as well as look the part. This project was no different, and the result is a roof that looks like it came straight out of a Dickens tale, with subtle undulations and perfect imperfections that are expected with a handmade clay tile. The Managing Director of Manorwood Construction said "Spicer Tiles are one of very few manufacturers that make tiles in controlled conditions that also have the aesthetic quality which reclaimed tiles have and which respect the intrinsic character of the historic buildings on which they are used. We have used them on numerous projects now where the finished roof has been complemented not only by the client but also by Conservation officers and Planning Officers."