The Rotunda (Mrs. Busby’s Temple)

Completed restoration project

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Halswell House and its ancillary buildings and structures sit within what was once a C18th Landscape garden. Within this setting Sir Charles Kemeys Tynte, who succeeded to Halswell in 1740, reworked the layout of gardens, buildings and ornamental structures, seeking to naturalise an earlier formal arrangement as was the spirit of the time. Sir Charles was a contemporary of Coplestone Warre Bampfylde, who resided at nearby Hestercombe House, and historic correspondence exists between the two owners relating to their respective landscaping and building works.

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Under construction

Thread’s work on the landscape structures to date includes the completed restoration of the Grade II listed Rotunda, and inverted cone Ice-House below, and ongoing works to interpret and restore the Grotto and bridge.

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Intricate designs
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Entrance to the Ice-House

Although the Rotunda structure was in poor repair with no dome remaining, due to the classical nature of the building, its mathematical rigour and the adherence of its design to the rules of classicism, and backed up by archival and evidential material, we were able to soundly propose the form and detail of the restoration of the new structure. The restoration was completed by Corbel Conservation Ltd and celebrated with the local community on the 14th November 2014.

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Cutting down trees to open up the landscape

This work has served to reintroduce a key landmark of the designed landscape which had been lost for decades. For the current owner this is a symbol of his intent in terms of reuniting the house and its historic landscape, the implementation of quality workmanship, the application of historical delicacy, and the reintroduction of public access and enjoyment.

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Pulling the trees down


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