The Old Weavers buildings date back to the 15th century when they were used by Huguenots for weaving in the period just after The King’s Bridge was widened. No.1, 2 and 3 St Peter’s Street are one of the most photographed buildings in Canterbury after the Cathedral.
The three timber-framed buildings sit upon a green sandstone base adjoining the river Stour in Canterbury City Centre and are home to two of the top riverside restaurants in Kent.
Due to poor maintenance of the buildings’ rainwater goods, the buildings had become in poor order. BSF Consulting Engineers were instructed to carry out a structural survey to assess the timber structure and provide a structural report. The main issue identified was moisture had been trapped behind the render for some time resulting in the failure of several timber members.
The timbers were assessed and replaced like-for-like by a specialist contractor. Additionally, a timber beam that provides support to the stepped façade was replaced with a short, cantilevered steel beam. To avoid disruption within the building, this required a strapping solution between the steel beam and timber post to provide restraint.
We also advised that the following solutions were structurally safe and cost effective:
· An oak lintel to a rear window to replace a deflecting one.
· An oak post under a first-floor level beam bearing onto the centre of a recently inserted window and some strengthening of the beam because it now carries roof load.
· New principal frame posts scarfed onto the remaining sections replacing rotted sections.
· Renewal of three projecting joists to strengthen the bressummer over the ‘shopfront’ to the restaurants.
The preparation of calculations, specification and details for the repairs and strengthening of the building’s structure was of high priority. The works were completed to the highest quality for a building of great historic (and iconic) significance.