The SAVE Trust - Castle House

The SAVE Trust is delighted to announce the start of a major phase of repairs at Grade II* listed Castle House in Bridgwater, Somerset.

The restoration work will see the walls, roof and floors reinstated, making the building structurally sound for the first time in decades. This phase of work is set to be complete by early 2018.

The SAVE Trust, the separate building preservation trust arm of SAVE Britain’s Heritage, purchased the house in 2002 following a campaign to save the house from demolition and a successful public inquiry. 

The current repair works, funded by grants from Historic England and EDF Energy, will finally allow us to remove the scaffolding and sheeting that has surrounded the house for years, and reveal the decorative concrete and intricate designs on the facades that make the building unique.

The architectural and historical significance of the house lies in its engineering, being one of the earliest surviving examples of the use of prefabricated and reinforced concrete.

Castle House, which was designed as a family home, was completed in 1851 to demonstrate the versatility and potential of the material, and features both precast and reinforced concrete, which puts the house at the forefront of 19th century engineering.

Emergency repairs carried out on the house between 2013-2013 exposed some of the original steel support structure in the concrete ceiling of the basement; the steel frame meant that the ceilings and floors could also be made from concrete, unique at this time.

Historic England in the listing description also notes: 

‘Castle House is associated with two important Sedgemoor families, the Boards and the Ackermans; John Board (1802-1861) who extended his family’s brick company into cement in 1844, and his grandson William Ackerman who joined the company in 1871 and is credited with the first ‘true’ Portland cement.’

The trust is working with Chris Balme of Ferguson Mann Architects, structural engineers The Morton Partnership, quantity surveyors Peter Gunning and Partners, and contractor Corbel Conservation

Updated: 24th May 2017