High performance Conservation™ box sash timber windows, entrance doors and French doorsets, designed and manufactured in Tiptree, Essex, by sash window specialist Mumford & Wood, have been specified in the renovation and extension of a splendid and truly notable Grade II listed building in Shoebury, Essex. Developer and main contractor Garrison Developments LLP of Braintree, Essex, has masterminded the sensitive reuse and building conversion of the original MOD Officers’ Mess at the Shoebury Garrison.
Dating back to 1797 when a signal station was erected at the start of the Napoleonic War, Shoebury Garrison is steeped in British Military history and has long been associated with the valour of the armed forces. Having housed Royal Artillery and Gunnery schools since the early 1800’s, Shoebury Garrison is now recognised as an area of national importance and is protected, much of it as a conservation area. Many of the historical buildings are listed and a great deal of the site within the ancient ramparts is protected by English Heritage as scheduled ancient monuments.
Since the barracks were decommissioned the buildings have suffered extensive fire damage and vandalism, and floors, roof and internals have been destroyed. An annexe is in reasonable condition and remains generally unaffected. The Officers’ Mess conversion, a derelict shell for almost five years, has been approved for renovation to 11 luxury Grade II listed private homes that provide a unique seafront retreat. The original scheme for a hotel received outline planning approval while, more latterly, mixed-use accommodation was rejected by the local community but favoured by the planners during 2010.
The buildings of The Officers’ Mess are the most prestigious listed buildings within this historic site, the grand regeneration scheme respectful of a wonderful location. The building will be surrounded by exceptional landscaped gardens and the visitor drawn to the Grand Hall where some of the original features will be restored to an outstanding finish with beautiful high ceilings and grand features.
Mumford & Wood Conservation™ products are sympathetic in appearance to the original timber box sash windows and doorsets of The Officers’ Mess, designed and constructed some 200 years ago. The replacement windows, made from clear grade engineered timber, have been approved by local conservation officers for the renovation of this very important piece of British heritage. These bespoke fenestration products are double glazed and factory finished, have BSI ‘A - C’ energy ratings, advanced acoustic and security performance and achieve an overall frame U-value of 1.4 W/m².K which exceeds current Part L Building Regulations.
“Today’s homeowners would expect nothing less than to have the highest level of thermal performance in a new home just as they would the finest appliances and finishes,” says Paul Denney, quantity surveyor, Garrison Developments LLP, “and these windows and doors will contribute to creating a comfortable and secure environment while retaining the drama, the tradition and elegant aesthetics of the original building. The windows pay a huge part in this project and we know they will look and perform perfectly for years to come even in this exposed location. The conversion of The Officers’ Mess has been a challenging project due to the essential need to create products to the very highest performance standards that remain sympathetic in every detail.” Thermally efficient homes benefit from lower energy consumption and reduced CO₂ emissions contributing to Government goals and ambitions.
Mumford & Wood, a founder member of the Wood Window Alliance, has worked very closely with the developer to ensure these sympathetically designed products would meet approval. “We have designed samples and worked with great detail to replicate the fine, elegant sightlines and mouldings of the original windows and doors,” says Paul Martin, marketing manager, Mumford & Wood Ltd. “The bespoke nature of our manufacturing processes allows us to fully accommodate the exacting specification of important briefs such as this.”