Castle Ashby

Manufacturer: Feathercast

Product: Jesmonite AC830

The Project

In 2009 Steve Cole of Articole Studios contacted us to see if we had a material that could be used to replace Terracotta architectural garden ornaments at the Castle Ashby Estate in Northamptonshire. The original terracotta was manufactured and installed by J.M.Blashfield between 1867 and 1868 and had finally succumbed to frost damage and the ravages of time.

The challenge was to submit a material that could replicate the original terracotta, whilst at the same time providing the necessary guarantees of longevity and frost resistance. Our initial specification of Jesmonite AC730 proved to be flawed as the material is designed to be used only in thin sections with glass reinforcement. We set about creating a new material that could be poured in thick sections, and had sufficient strength and durability to last well into the future. The material solution we developed is now called AC830 and we invested in a range of independent tests with CERAM to demonstrate its durability against a wide range of BS/EN standards. It not only passed these standards but exceeded them by wide margins, resulting in the material still being used in the ongoing project to replace all of the terracotta on site.

“We have a long term project to replace tons of mid Victorian terracotta Architectural Ornament at Castle Ashby in Northampton. The requirement was to find a durable and long lasting material that was an improvement on standard ‘concrete’ or ‘cast stone’. Working with Jesmonite’s team we came up with custom mix that mimicked the colour and appearance of the original material. AC830 is cast out of the moulds that we produce at Articole Studios. The moulds are taken directly off the restored original pieces of original terracotta. Articole Studios and the Trustees of Castle Ashby have been very impressed with the final results.”

Steve Cole
Managing Director, Articole Studios