Armstead Trade Brings Hensol Castle to Life

Armstead Trade Brings Hensol Castle to Life



Built more than 400 years ago, Hensol Castle was previously a stately home, NHS conference centre and, more recently, used for filming BBC television dramas Sherlock and Doctor Who. However, after being left vacant for over 10 years and succumbing to the elements, the property was bought by the family-owned retail company, Leekes.

The 17th-century castle has original architecture, turrets, gothic towers and feature staircases, and its restoration is being completed in close association with the Vale of Glamorgan Council and CADW, the Welsh Government's body responsible for preserving Welsh heritage.

Roy Jones, Commercial Director at Weston Decorators, who were awarded the contract by Towy Projects, explains the condition of the building before work began: 'After being empty for over a decade, nature had gained a grip on the building and the interior had seriously deteriorated. The damp, humid environment created the perfect condition for mould to take hold and destroy the structural integrity of the building. This meant that most of the internal fittings including walls, floors and roofing, were in disrepair and needed to be replaced.'

'All historic refurbishment projects need good-quality, long-lasting paint products,' said Laurence Harvey, Specifier and Account Manager at AkzoNobel, manufacturer of Armstead Trade paints. 'The Hensol Castle project is unique, as it also requires a professional finish suitable for a building of this grandeur, making Armstead Trade the ideal paint.'

'Weston Decorators are complementing the use of our Anti-Mould paint by applying Armstead Trade Primer Sealer beforehand, sealing the internal walls and preventing damp travelling throughout the building. By combining the two Armstead Trade products, the protection provided by the anti-mould paint is enhanced, providing each surface with a high-quality finish protected from damp and mould.'

'As the project is to be completed over roughly 4 years, we knew we needed a hard-wearing trade paint, which would not allow the mould to regrow or be worn by the high number of people passing through the building,' adds Roy.

Ideal for projects of this nature, Armstead Trade Anti-Mould Vinyl Matt is a trade product that produces a professional quality finish, and also inhibits the growth of mould and algae. As well as reducing the growth of mould, the high opacity matt emulsion also minimises surface imperfections, a major benefit in refurbishment projects.

'We also used Armstead Trade's Colour Tint feature, creating a range of pastille colours, which will be used throughout the building, with the use of deep, bolder colours, to bring attention to the finer, decorative details of each room. After applying a standard two-coat coverage with a spreading rate of 14 metre squared in the first room to undergo refurbishment, we were confident that Armstead Trade products would produce an excellent lasting finish,' Roy explains.

The first phase is now complete with the introduction of conference facilities in the new purpose-built Courtyard Hall. The facilities at Courtyard Hall will be complemented by four smaller meeting rooms in the castle itself, which have been restored and can host between 10-100 delegates each.

Phase two of the investment will include adding up to 50 bedrooms and a high-end restaurant with 120 covers, expected to be open by late 2016.

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