Alms House Poole

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An iconic part of Poole’s old town skyline has been restored. The storm that struck in the middle of the night on 14 February last year claimed one of the Tudor chimneys on St George’s Almhouses. Fortunately no-one was injured and alternative accommodation was found for the occupant. It did, however, mean a major rebuild to ensure it and the neighbouring chimney would last for another 500 years, says Wendy Yeatman, chairman of the Municipal and Owen Carter Almshouses trust. Another Tudor house owner recommended stone mason and chimney restorer, Jonathon Weeden, of Weeden Masonry, who described stabilising the external remnant structure as the task that has required most preparation of any he’s undertaken in his career. After securing the existing structure, he removed the weighty stacks above, logging and detailing each brick. The intention was to re-use as much original material in the rebuild as possible. Jonathon discussed remedial solutions with the planning department, conservation officer and the trust and, six months after the original collapse, the carefully planned reconstruction began. ‘The methodical way in which we took the brickwork down meant we could place each brick back into its original position with only a few handmade additions that we will merge into the existing brickwork,’ says Jonathon.

View the chimney restoration article featured in Dorset Life Magazine