Stoneworld were incredibly proud to be part of Channel 4 Grand Designs in 2018, assisting with the refurbishment of Dinton Castle, in Buckinghamshire. The refurbishment, lead by Jimmy and Mimi Fernandez, was a huge success, and saw the beautiful 18th century folly restored to its former glory, and Stoneworld had a huge part to play in this.
Rob Parker, Stoneworld business owner, was invited to the site of the project in the Spring of 2017, where he first met Jimmy Fernandez and the local Conservation Officer.
Rob had been asked to look at the ruins of Dinton Castle to help identify the remaining building stone and to recommend a sensitive and suitable building material to rebuild the castle with.
Dinton Castle had been built in 1760 and, after a disastrous fire in the 1800s had, during the next century fallen into complete ruins.
Stoneworld provided recommendations for which stone to use for the refurbishment
Rob recommended Purbeck stone which has mellow yellow and grey tones – a perfect match for the castle. It is also available in a number of formats which provided ultimate flexibility and versatility when rebuilding the castle.
Jimmy visited Stoneworld’s base in Great Milton, Oxfordshire, to inspect the stone before making his final decision, and brought the Grand Designs TV crew with him!
Jimmy was incredibly enthusiastic about Rob’s suggested Purbeck stone, and our involvement with the project was sealed.
Stoneworld supplied Purbeck stone in three sizes: large rockery, dry walling, and 4 inch on bed. When used randomly together, Jimmy was able to realistically match the original 18th Century building style of the castle.
Our involvement did not end there!
Stoneworld Masonry Cutting & Carving Services were very useful on this project
Jimmy is attuned to modern day methods of building conservation and architecture, and in Rob he found a kindred spirit when he discovered Stoneworld’s investment in robot technology. In our masonry workshop we have a stone cutting robot, StoneGenie, which is capable of intricate stone carving using 360 degree flexibility. It can replicate perfect copies of stone from computer programmed design.
Kevin McLoud also paid a visit to our masonry workshop and viewed StoneGenie in action.
For the Dinton Castle project, StoneGenie produced thirty identical replacement windowsills to the original design.
It also carved the intricately designed replacement string course which wraps around the building following the contours of the building.
Finally, we were able to reproduce the decorative stone coping stones on the roof turrets.
It has been fantastic to be involved in such a high profile project, especially as it has involved a building which so many local people hold dear to their hearts.
Dinton Castle has now been completely restored by Jimmy and Mimi who have made it their home with their 2 small boys.