Belton House Courtyard Granite Setts Restoration Project

Belton House is an impressive property in Lincolnshire, now managed by the National Trust

Buxton Architectural Natural Stone Belton House Grounds
Buxton Architectural Natural Stone Belton House Grounds Side

Inside the heart of the outside buildings is a traditional courtyard laid with thousands of granite cobble setts. This became a necessary focus for the Trust for restoration work on the Setts in order for the courtyard to be made suitable for the modern requirements regarding flooring for public places and to be more pushchair, wheelchair and scooter friendly.

The project required areas of the original setts to be uplifted, then following trials was agreed that these were either cut in half or have the tops removed, allowing them to be relayed giving a flat top surface.

English Heritage worked together with The National Trust to agree how the setts should be finished allowing the project to retain authenticity and using the original materials which was critical in maintaining the heritage of Belton House.

David Munslow, of The National Trust, brought some of the setts here to us in December 2022 for trials on both options suggested of cutting in half and or topping to obtain the flat surface area for the setts required.

After successful trials approval was passed for us to process the setts ready for relay in the summer of 2023.

There was a strict deadline mapped out for the restoration works from us receiving the now uplifted setts, processing and then delivery back to Belton.

This had to be meticulously planned out in order for the contractors on site to do the uplifting, delivery to our yard, processing and then returning back to Belton House of which the Trust had a set closure period in the courtyard for 2 weeks to allow for the relaying to be done.

Buxton Architectural Natural Stone Belton House Courtyard Cobble Sets Arriving
Buxton Architectural Natural Stone Belton House Courtyard Cobble Sets Arriving 1

You may be wondering, how many setts arrived for processing?

We were supplied with 4491 setts that were to be of Type 1’s which were to be cut in half, and 869 Type 2’s which were to be topped, and then all sandblasted to achieve a good flat surface to each as agreed. This then gave them 8981 Type 1’s and 869N Type 2’s processed and ready for the relay.

Every single Set had to be hand counted! They were counted in and counted back out into the crates for the purpose of working on the meterage based on each Sett also being slightly irregular in size so the quantity per m2 was agreed between us all. We returned 39 crates to Belton House as per the job specification.

Buxton Architectural Natural Stone Belton House Courtyard Cobble Sets Ready For Returning

The contractors then had the work space mapped out and working on the m2 they could relay effectively the areas specified for the now flat topped Setts.

Buxton Architectural Natural Stone Belton House Courtyard Setts Relaying Project
Buxton Architectural Natural Stone Belton House Courtyard Setts Completed Project

A more functional and better access has now been achieved to the courtyard, shops and amenities and we have been very proud to have been a part of the supply chain in brining this project to a successful completion.

However, there is more! Each Christmas season, Belton House has a “Winter Lights at Belton” daily and evening event. There is a magical winter light walk around the magnificent gardens with different displays, themes, attractions, food & drinks, and a few small rides for children.

As part of a Thank You from the National Trust we were invited to come and see the courtyard project completed and enjoy the festive event. This was a wonderful evening and good to see the benefits the restoring of the Setts has achieved.

We have a story about this next week! You even get to see some of the team.