Monday, 13 August 2018

Restoration of the Year!

We are delighted to announce that one of our projects – the restoration of Marchmont House – has been chosen as the winner of the Historic Houses Restoration of the Year Award, sponsored by Sotheby’s.  We are immensely proud … this is probably the most prestigious prize in our field.

The Palladian mansion in Berwickshire, designed by William Adam and built for the 3rd Earl of Marchmont 1750-55 and altered by Sir Robert Lorimer for R F McEwen 1914-17, had been separated from its estate and used as a palliative care hospital by the Sue Ryder Foundation until abandoned and entered onto the Register of Buildings at Risk.  It was bought by the current owner of the estate, Marchmont Farms Ltd, who commissioned Smith & Garratt to manage the restoration – including design, consents, procurement, site management and financial control.

The main works were tackled over three years, using up to 55 craftsmen and labourers at one time.  It was delivered on budget – for a major sum but less than half the cost predicted by cost consultants – ten weeks early and with a great safety record.  The Sotheby’s award is the third acknowledgement of the quality of delivery.  It follows the Scottish Borders Award for Conservation and Design (2016) and the Georgian Group Award for Best Restoration of a Georgian Interior (2017).

The restoration was featured in a major article by Roger White for Country Life, split over two issues in August 2017, and has just been covered extensively by Eleanor Doughty in the Historic Houses magazine (Autumn 2018) and the Sunday Times of the very glorious 12th August 2018 (pictured).

Ben Cowell, director-general of Historic Houses said, “The thing that really sets Marchmont apart is the incredible attention to detail throughout, letting the spirit of the house shine through.”  Mr Oliver Burge of Marchmont Farms Ltd wrote, “From my viewpoint … [the Sotheby’s award] is a modest way of saying thank you to all those who contributed to the Marchmont project.”