Restoration of a Gothic Window at Gwrych Castle, Abergele

This Beautiful window, made of Pine was a created to replace an earlier 1820s cast iron interior window, which are common at the castle. Carved c. 1912, it was made so that the Countess of Dundonald could enjoy opening sashes in her writing room in the newly restored Gardener’s Tower rather than a sealed cast iron version.

Left to rot at the bottom with water ingress, the structure of the window was very weak and had caused all the top to break apart, and sections to fall away. Upon inspection, it was clear that a new base had to be constructed, and those parts which had suffered rot at the bottom of the sashes were in need of rebuilding with woof filler. The principle aim of restoring this window was to ensure that replacement of parts was kept to a minimum, so that the window is conserved and kept in its state in a stable condition.


My first step was to treat the window for woodworm, and to take off any wet rot, and treat it with wood hardener. I then involved Gareth, a local carpenter, who was kind enough to create a new base and advise us on the best approaches. Fortunately, the tenon and mortise joints to secure the base were still in existence, and together we were able to put it back on in minutes.

With wood filler, we reinforced the treated bases of the sashes. When looking at the tops, sections had broken away due to the stress of being without a base. These were glued and pulled together with a wratchet.


to reinforce this, a 9mm hole was drilled through each re-glued part, and a dowel was glued inside to pin it together. With all break pinned together with 9mm dowels, wood filler was used to reconstruct where the rot had eroded parts, this strengthened those parts which were reinforced, and built back the shape.     11701172_947442271945355_8160615195789902312_n

Once hardened, the window was sanded lightly to preserve evidence of repairs and painted in fence paint to avoid future water ingress and preserve the wood in a colour which we managed to identify as close to the original from scrapings found close to the bare wood. Glass was cut for the window and secured with window silicone, and panel pins. Later on, window putty was added to weather-proof it.


0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *