Bulstrode Park: a Grade II Listed 19th Century Mansion

The word Bulstrode is an old Anglo-Saxon word meaning:

“the marsh belonging to the fort”.

This means Bulstrode Park played a specific role in Iron Age Society. As the word Bulstrode means fort it plays a phenomenon within the Iron Age Society and in turn leads to a requirement of further understanding and preservation of the landscaping in Bulstrode Park. In the 18th century the Bulstrode Park estate grounds were landscaped, a lake was added that is reminiscent of Dutch canals, and trees were brought from around the world. The garden of Bulstrode Park includes the biggest Japanese cherry tree (prunus shirofugen) in Buckinghamshire.

Description of the premises

Dating from the 1865, Bulstrode Park is a beautiful mansion in the Gothic style. The existing buildings extend to approximately 106,000 sq.ft (9850 sq.m). The main house is arranged on two principal floors with cellars and rooms in the roof space. A range of two-story wings and courts extend to the North and East.

The property is Grade II listed and set in parkland, which is separately listed Grade II. The site has a significant history and the current mansion is the fourth of a series built on the site.

Aerial view of Bulstrode Park, Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, England, UK

Condition and age of the building

The main house is approximately 150 years old, although there have been various additions in the interveinng period. In its recent history, the building was occupied by a charity, who vacated the premises in 2016. Subsequently, the building was left unoccupied, and this provided an opportunity for extensive and significant vandalism. Much of the external glazing has been broken and any accessible roof stripped of lead flashings or roof coverings. Areas of slate pitches were damaged in the process of removing leadwork. This compromised the buildings weather-tightness, and as a result water damage is visible internally throughout.

Scaffolding has already been installed to the entire perimeter of the building, and as such it has been possible to evaluate the condition of the roofs. A temporary roof has been installed across the east wing, areas of the inner court and the entire outer court stable wing. However, the main house is currently exposed, and where it has been possible, temporary lightweight weather protections has been fixed in place.

Works are already underway internally to remove the worst of the moisture damaged modern partitions and insulation.

General description of the building

The construction externally is predominantly brickwork, with some stonework detailing. All pitched roofs are slate (a combination of Westmorland Green and Welsh-type dark blue) and originally flat roofs were predominantly lead. The building varies from 2 to 4 stories high. There is access to the area of works (roof) on all sides via the scaffold. Access to the roof of the main house is also possible via a link that divides two main areas of internal flat roof. Specific works access points have not yet been confirmed (Architect/Client to advise during pre-start meeting).

Description of any external areas of the building

An inner courtyard is defined by the main house, the cast wing and the stables wing to the north. An outer courtyard, enclosed on three sides, is created by the plan of the stables wing to the north.

Sunken Italian gardens bound the main house to the west, and a terrace is accessed from the main rooms at ground floor to the south.

There is a car park immediately to the north of the main house, and a works compound for the internal works underway on an adjacent raised area (once the walled garden) to the west of this. It is suggested that the farther part of the car park could be used as a works compound for the roof works for site set-up, storage, welfare and parking. Because the building is currently unoccupied and served by a private drive, there are no constraints to the delivery of materials.

Previous/current use of the building

The building has been vacant for two years, prior to which it was used as the headquarters of a charity. Originally, it was a private residence.

Due to the age of the building, care should be taken when conducting hot works to ensure that the chance of fire is minimised.

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