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Lasting Legacy

Barrettine’s Armourflex Hardwax Oil restores original wood floors at Hartham Park

Looking to preserve the heritage of a historic Georgian manor house, the professionals turned to Barrettine’s Armourflex Hardwax Oil to restore the original wood floors. 

Hartham Park in Wiltshire has embarked on a journey to restore and renovate its prestigious estate, which is steeped in history, into a luxurious wedding venue.

Originally part of the royal forest of Chippenham, Hartham Park has undergone various transformations over the years. Its earliest recorded history dates back to the 11th century when it was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, a survey of England and Wales ordered by William the Conqueror. At that time, it was held by Edward of Salisbury, a prominent Norman nobleman.

Throughout the medieval period, Hartham Park remained a valuable estate, passing through the hands of different noble families. By the 17th century, it came under the ownership of the Methuen family, who were influential in the local wool trade. During this time, the estate saw significant development, including the construction of a grand manor house.

In the 18th century, Hartham Park experienced further expansion and enhancement, with the construction of additional buildings and landscaping of the surrounding grounds. The estate became renowned for its beauty and grandeur, attracting visitors from far and wide.

During the 19th century, Hartham Park continued to evolve, reflecting the changing architectural styles and tastes of the time. The manor house underwent renovations, and the gardens were redesigned in the fashionable landscape style popular during the Victorian era.

In the 20th century, Hartham Park faced challenges as the traditional landed estates began to decline in significance. However, efforts were made to preserve its heritage, and the estate found new purposes, including agricultural and residential uses. 

Today, Hartham Park stands as a testament to centuries of history and heritage. The estate retains much of its original charm, with its historic buildings, landscaped gardens, and scenic surroundings. It serves as a reminder of Wiltshire’s rich cultural and architectural legacy, and having been recently purchased by a private investor, it is currently being renovated into a prestigious wedding venue.

Hartham Park’s construction used all natural materials for the exterior and interior of its grounds. Floors in the main are all wooden and clearly show their character in design and general wear with each room being laid with different patterns and craft.

The entrance holds a beautifully grand staircase with carved, ornate wooden spindles that carry the main access up from the ground level to the floors above.

Interior Designer Sarah was set with the task of maintaining these original features but was now able to utilise modern techniques and finishes to achieve the lavish but period character required for the grand property.

The wooden flooring had undergone testing for suitable finishes that kept in line with the historical aesthetic of the building, and a hard wax oil was considered most appropriate. A market-leading finish was compared to the new Armourflex Hardwax Oil in both satin and matt. Armourflex was chosen as the professionals’ choice, for its outstanding natural matt finish, combined with its exceptional wear and stain resistance characteristics, which would make the floors easy to maintain. Armourflex Hardwax Oil is also suitable for protecting and enhancing all interior wood surfaces including hardwood, softwood, parquet, and veneer.

Preparation to the floor began with heavy sanding due to the age of the timber. The floor design meant that each section of timber had the grain running at 45-degree angles and subsequent hand sanding was required to ensure all previous coatings and dirt had been removed. The designer, Sarah was also conscious of its wear and the character that it inadvertently created, so chose to leave any gaps within the boards without filler for that period style.

Application began and the contractors found the product very easy to use, saying it “went on with ease”. They also mentioned they found Armourflex Hardwax Oil slightly thicker than other brands which made it easier to achieve the high-end final finish required.

The room was coated like a conveyor belt as team spread across the width of the floor to systematically apply the coating in sections with a brush, from one end to the other. The contractors commented that ‘the coverage was outstanding’ and the second coat was a lot quicker to apply.

In total three coats were applied to ensure maximum protection, they also mentioned that with other brands they had to use four coats in similar circumstances which saved them both time and money.

Dying times are also very important in the trade, as this can prolong downtime. Even with the large open space and below-average temperature conditions, the contractors remarked that this was still good in their opinion. One said: “Drying times were good considering the vast open space, we’ve found other brands to still be wet in the morning which delays our progress.”

The contractors overall have been very impressed with the application, and drying time and the Interior designer, Sarah, with the final finish. They were so impressed with the results that they are now using the product in more areas around the estate. The wedding room is currently waiting for the wallpaper to be added so the grand room can be finally dressed ready for its ceremonial hosts. 

The contractors have now moved on to the wood floors of the Stické Tennis Court at the rear of the estate. Built in 1904, this grade II listed building is one of only three playable courts left in existence for the little-known sport, which is like a combination of squash and tennis. 

Armourflex Hardwax was created as a specialist coating for the professionals where performance and final finish matter. Through extensive testing, Barrettine has created a versatile coating that’s hardwearing due to its abrasion and liquid resistance credentials.

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