Specialist timbers in
IJP Building Conservation of Henley-on- Thames is restoring and rebuilding an historic Grade II* post mill from Herstmonceux, East Sussex, using a range of different timbers supplied by Vastern. The project is scheduled to take 18 months to complete and will involve up to ten craftsmen, with two joinery apprentices. The mill has been derelict since the 1920s. It is said to have been built c1814, although the medieval style of construction suggests it may have originated as early as c1750. In order to gain power, the mill was extended by one storey in 1878, making it the largest of its kind in the country. The sweeps (sails) were removed in 1893.
Vastern supplied elm for the great brake wheel, which is some three metres in diameter, and beech for its teeth; structural oak and planking oak for repairs; and oak for the core beam of the crown tree, and the triangular-shaped brest beam. According to IJP, Vastern won the contract on quality of product, competitive pricing and the company’s ability to “come up trumps whenever difficult pieces of timber are needed.” IJP says of Vastern: “Some of this timber, like the lovely elm, is extremely difficult to come by these days. It’s great to have a timber company that had the foresight to cut timber and put it to one side at the back of the yard. They are good at providing fresh sawn timber that is cut from steady logs.” IJP is a building conservation consultant and contractor, established in 1986. Its craftsmen specialise in traditional materials and techniques, working in timber, masonry, lime, oak and metal.