Location: Poyntzpass, County Armagh

One of the grand houses of County Armagh. The house was built around 1775 and looks to have replaced an earlier bawn built by the Poyntz family when they came to Ireland in 1619. Brett describes the house as “a sophisticated square three-bay two-storey roughcast house with attic and basement… with fine internal detailing….a house of considerable distinction”. The house is listed.

We got “under the skin of this house”, looking at every element in detail so that we thoroughly understood it. A detailed condition report with cost estimates provided an authoritative base on which to proceed with a scheme of repair and alteration.

We worked closely with the owner and in partnership with a local Architect prepared schemes to restore and re-order the house for modern living. The design accurately reflected the detailing, materials and proportions of the existing and sought to restore the symmetry of an original façade which had been adversely effected by previous work.

Negotiations with the statutory authorities was augmented by the preparation of a Heritage Impact Assessment clearly identifying the elements of the re-modelling and mitigating works to reduce the impact on the significance of the site.

Contract documents were exacting and detailed and contractors were pre-qualified according to knowledge, expertise, craft, skill and availability to undertake the project. Provisional Sums were not used as an alternative to thoroughly investigating and specifying the works.

During the construction phase we adopted a flexible approach to change but regulated always by a clear conservation philosophy backed up by detailed design. Of particular note was the work in re-supporting a cantilevered staircase which had moved over time so that a column had been added to provide support. Using minimal intervention techniques we were able to reintroduce the original method of support within the spiral of the stair and remove the supporting post entirely.

This was a project without compromise.