Restoration Of A Cupola

Restoration Of A Cupola

16th Jun 2023

At the end of last year Adam Lynch of Whitacre Bespoke Carpentry went on a rescue mission to salvage this cupola. It has been painstakingly restored including the weather vane. The weather vane and the cupola were painted with Brouns & Co linseed paint. It's an amazing project not without its challenges including lifting the refurbished structure onto the roof and refitting.

As can be seen In the photos before photo the work started the old cupola had some elements that were leading to the failure of the structure including: Lead over timber sills, plastic cladding over the main frame and roof framing. Poor paint and general poor maintenance had also led to a critical endangerment of this part of a beautiful building.

Here is a link to a video of the cupola being removed

As part of the repair process the roof framing support required a complete replacement as it was badly compromised by rot and worm damage. The original frame was nice quality softwood so Adam selected a good grade of larch that was nearly as clear as the original. 

The cupola has also had extensive painstaking repair. 3 corner posts and 4 mullions had splice repairs. 1 corner post was fully replaced. The top trims were matched and replaced where damaged. 

All of the decorative trim needed repair with some requiring extensive matching. The staff bead at the base of the corbels was totally replaced. 

The weather vane was also repaired and a new point and rotating cross fabricated by using old parts. 

Rafters and mostly original sarking boards were replaced to include a new centre boss to allow the weather vane through but provide support for rafters there was nothing before. 

This weather vane along with the timber were then painted using Brouns & Co linseed oil paints. The colours used for the weather vane were Iron Oxide metal primer, shown wet after second coat in the image below and then followed by Blackout. The weather vane also had some parts traditionally guilded. The guilding over linseed oil paint worked well once fully cured. The cupola was painted with Brouns & Co Restoration White exterior linseed oil paint.

An air-dried oak sill was added to the top to match the original oak sill that was beyond repair. The lead flashing was tidied with soakers fitted opposed to over flashing to try and prevent some of the leaks that caused the decay. 

The repaired cupola cap was then set into place using a telescopic handler, a tricky operation but all went smoothly. 

The cupola was now complete, an amazing restoration by Whitacre Bespoke Carpentry.