Colchester, CO2 8JR
An identical Building to Stable 7 that we restored in 2008, Stable 6 forms part of the former Colchester Cavalry Barracks complex. We have now completed the restoration of the Grade 2 Listed Stable 6, Stable Road, Colchester.
This beautiful building was built in 1864 at the same time as the adjoining Stable 7 Building to house the large working horses that used to pull the heavy artillery guns. With stalls on the ground floor and barracks above for the soldiers who worked with the horses, these intricately designed buildings are some, if not the finest buildings on the Former Colchester Garrison site. Stable 7 next door was converted into a mixed use scheme of both apartments and offices, whilst Stable 6 has been converted entirely into offices.
The large open plan rooms on the ground and first floors have been retained, whilst modern day technology has been cleverly incorporated into the building to provide for the needs of the new occupiers, local solicitors Thompson Smith & Puxon.
Following years of neglect and little investment by the MOD, we have completely restored the historic fabric of the building from the top down. The works included stripping the old roof and relaying a new natural slate roof incorporating access points for bats and swifts that both use these roofs for breeding. The external brickwork had been inappropriately repaired by the MOD with modern hard bricks, these areas was taken down and the intricate brick detailing to the gables and parapets restored using reclaimed period bricks. The building was carefully cleaned and re-pointed using a rich lime mortar mix and all the decorative stonework was replaced using sandstone from Johnson’s Quarry in Huddersfield. Internally the original brickwork was cleaned and re-pointed and the heavy cast iron columns and beams were exposed. The ground floor corner rooms that used to house the feed room, tack room and smithy are now individual meeting rooms or offices with vaulted ceilings and exposed roof timbers.
As with any Historic Building, the challenge of re-use, is balancing the need to preserve the fabric of the building whilst bringing it back into long term viable use. At Stable 6 we have tried to meet that balance and we are delighted with the way in which potentially incongruous 21st Century requirements have been incorporated. The heat pump air conditioning system has been cleverly disguised so that the units are hidden within the perimeter boxing that runs around the main spaces, colour co-ordinated grilles allow air to be pulled in from the lower skirting level and extracted from the top of the boxing, with these sleek metal grilles being the only visible sign of the the system. Likewise, the miles of data and power cables that have been installed are all housed within colour co-ordinated trunking hidden within the perimeter boxing or in the floor.
The photographs show the transformation of the building and the various stages of restoration and conversion.
We are delighted that this Building has now been properly preserved and that it will continue to play an important part in Colchester’s Military History, it is another one of Colchester’s historic buildings that has been saved by Lexden Restoration and Development, something we are extremely proud of.
For more information on the history of these Listed Buildings and the other buildings that Lexden Restorations have restored see the Historic Buildings Report that we commissioned Essex County Council’s Field Archaeology Unit to prepare when we originally purchased the site.