Paxton cottage, a Grade II listed 17th century timber frame Tudor cottage, is described in The Report of the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments as follows:

A 17th century timber frame cottage with whitewashed brick infill; ground floor and gable of right bay rebuilt in whitewashed brick. Thatched roof, flanking brick chimneys, that to left external with small lean-to, probably an oven to front. 2 storeys, 2 main bays. Leaded casements, irregular to ground floor, upper floor with 2 paired casements to right and 2 3-light casements to left. C20 door to right of left bay. C20 single storey extension to right, mostly glazed with tiled roof. Lean-to to rear” Note: the extension has been re-built with a thatched roof.

The house was originally two cottages and, as with many of the older cottages, was not named until after 1903 census, when it became Paxton Cottage. As further evidence of this there are 2 staircases leading upstairs. There are Tudor bricks in the inglenook at the far end of the sitting room, where the door to the old bread oven is still in situ.

The cottage was named after Tom Paxton who was farm manager for Hampden Estate. His boots are sealed into the wall of the inglenook to the left of the front door as you enter. There is a well under the floor near where the second front door was situated.

The Dampness Problem

The cottage had some dampness problems and 3 years ago it has been treated with a traditional injected chemical damp proof course (DPC), and re-plastered with a modern cement-based renovation render.

Since then the plaster started disintegrating and the customer reached out to the Listed Property Owners Club for advice to remedy the problem, who recommended her to look at the Aquapol solution.

Results

The Aquapol dehydration system has been installed under the stairs, hidden from view. Initial moisture readings have been taken from the core of the walls and the dehydration progress monitored every 6 months.

The dehydration results after 6 months are shown below. The wall’s moisture content practically halved despite of a very wet and snowy winter. No other renovation work has been done on the cottage. No changes have been done in heating and ventilation regime.

Dehydration chart

Dehydration chart

The customer plans to redecorate the building next year after the walls have dried out and replace the plaster with fresh lime.

Here is the customer’s initial feedback and observations:

Paxton Cottage

We were recommended Core Conservation by the Listed Property Owners Club. Their special advisory service for remediating listed building fabric problems pointed us in the right direction.

Following an initial consultation with an engineer, we installed the dehydration system into our Grade II listed Tudor cottage in October 2017. The Engineer returned only last week to evaluate changes to the severity of the rising damp in our walls since installation. After only 6 months there is a marked improvement in readings, some of which are 50% lower than those established at outset. We are very pleased with the findings and look forward to the next scheduled visit in 6 months’ time to learn of further improvement readings. Well done!

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Kate S
Cottage Owner

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