Role: Project Architect

Set within the Western Lake District National Park, Muncaster Castle is the seat of the Pennington family, and has been since 1208 when their residence was confirmed at the castle through a Royal Charter from King John. It is a Grade I listed castle, and the gardens are listed Grade II*. The present castle is the result of development and re-imagining by various Lord Muncasters, most notably in the 18th and 19th century, firstly through the Gothic romantic phase, then Victorian rustication.

Crosby Granger Architects is engaged as the Castle and Estate architects, researching, investigating, surveying, specifying and over-seeing works. Continual condition surveys of the different elements of the Castle itself, as well as over 100 Estate buildings allows us to assess the fabric, diagnose issues and specify urgent repairs for the in-house conservation maintenance team. The wider landscape is also considered and reviewed, including access and visitor flow.

 

The solid granite masonry construction of the castle and most of the estate buildings causes many issues, mainly due to the rigidity and lack of porosity of the stone. Historically the castle was rendered, but has since been stripped, allowing the vulnerable mortar joints to be exposed. As granite is not porous, it is essential that a ‘fat lime’ mortar is used at it is having to work doubly as hard to absorb and facilitate the migration of the water out to the surface. This is but one of the issues faced on the castle, which we are steadily managing through the use of hot-lime mortars.

As well as the on-going survey and essential repair works, there are also specific projects being discussed which will enhance the visitor experience at Muncaster. One of the most recent feasibility studies carried out is the potential repair of the North Service Yard and disused North Tower and its conversion and development. two options were considered; self catering apartments, or a textile conservation workshop and museum space. In conjunction with the client, we have prepared submissions for various different Grants and funding bodies for the later option of workshop and museum.

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