Transforming Westonbirt Woodworks

Posted: November 6, 2018 at 11:17 am Author: Rebecca Hare

The preparations are complete, and we are about to commence our exciting new project at Westonbirt Arboretum: the restoration of Westonbirt Woodworks.

Over the next few months we will be working hard to build new timber framed structures and restore a historic building into a vibrant hub for green woodworking and other heritage crafts. Local craftsmen will be able to showcase their amazing heritage skills, and visitors can watch incredible demonstrations and take part in exciting courses.

This hugely exciting project will give the Woodworks a new lease of life so that it can be used to mill and store Westonbirt timber and become a hub for green woodworking and other heritage crafts.

The History of the Woodworks

Westonbirt Woodworks (formerly the Plant Centre) consists of a cattle barn and yard which are part of the original 19th century Holford Estate. For the past few years, the site has been run by the hugely talented Paul Hayden who has been delivering a successful programme of green woodworking courses; we are delighted that Paul will be working with us on this new phase of the Woodworks’ life to create a fantastic array of courses and demonstrations for visitors to enjoy.

Wood centre

What’s happening over the next few months?

Over the past few months we have been busy laying the foundations, and in the next few weeks construction will begin of two new timber framed buildings: a Saw Mill Shelter and Drying Store.

The Saw Mill Shelter will be the first building to be constructed and will be made from our own oak, ensuring that we are using sustainably sourced British timber.

The structure itself is simple in design and once completed, will be used to house our brand new saw mill.

The Drying Store construction will commence once the Saw Mill Shelter is well underway to ensure that both buildings are ready for use in the New Year.

The timber framing will be undertaken by Nick Perchard and his team from Perchard Structural Timberworks. Nick has worked on site before and was instrumental in the construction of the Mess Building as part of the TMC.

Over the coming months, there will be a spectacular view of traditional timber framing in action from the STIHL Treetop Walkway – so keep your eyes peeled as you look down from the tree tops, and watch this space for more info on the transformation of the Westonbirt Woodworks and the exciting programme of courses.

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