Historic glazed roof

Howells Patent Glazing supplied and installed a replacement glazed roof with vents for the historic squash court at Ickworth, as part of a major conservation project by the National Trust.

Howells was appointed by main contractor Messenger as one of the skilled specialists selected to see the wider ‘Ickworth Uncovered’ project through to completion. The biggest conservation works Ickworth has ever seen, the task included mending leaks, re-tiling the iconic Rotunda roof, improvements to the east wing roof, and added lightning protection.

Howells designed and manufactured the replacement glazed roof for the squash court of the Italianate Palace using its HG1 type patent glazing system. The new glazed roof measures 9.5m x 4m on plan and is pitched at 30º.

It was critical that the glass was as close to the thickness of the original for structural and aesthetic purposes, so Howells used 9.5mm laminated glass, single glazed, within 40mm wide aluminium glazing bars in a matt polyester powder coated finish in Cream RAL 9001.

Howells was also tasked with refurbishing the squash court’s manual operating gear for the opening sashes. The system was adapted to accommodate electric motors to create electrically operated opening ventilators, connected to a remote-control panel situated in a storeroom below.

Due to the vulnerability of the building and the collections housed within, speed and accuracy were vital for the project schedule, which benefited from Howells’s commitment to assembling each rooflight in its factory prior to dispatch.

The replacement roof was delivered in kit form with pre-drilled holes, making for a quick installation.

Ickworth Uncovered was completed in 65 weeks, using more than 7,000 Westmorland slate tiles and 270 miles of scaffold. It was funded thanks to the generosity of National Trust members, supporters and donors, together with significant grant funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, The Wolfson Foundation and Arts Council.