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Eastwick Park Dairy at The Weald & Downland Museum

At Nye Saunders we are in the very privileged position of getting to work on some extraordinary projects and one of our Directors, Mike Staff is honoured to have received an invitation to attend the official opening of one of the recently completed conservation projects, the Eastwick Park Dairy at The Weald & Downland Museum.

Before arriving at the Weald & Downland Museum, the Eastwick Park Diary had been on quite a journey from where is was originally located in Great Bookham. It started when Mike was approached by Patrick Gardner, a retired local estate agent to explore the concept of working with the Leatherhead Society to restore the Dairy buildings for community use.

The original plan was to keep the Diary in situ, however it soon became apparent that because it had only recently been Grade II listed in 1990, the planners at Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) felt that that they would be unable enforce the landowners to repair it.

It was then agreed with the landowners that it could be removed. The MVDC Conservation Officer and Historic England were satisfied that it could be taken down and reconstructed within the grounds of a local school which is located in the estate of the now demolished Eastwick Park House for which the dairy was originally built to serve.

At this point we recorded the building as existing and set to work on developing plans to have it taken down and reconstructed. We obtained the relevant Planning & Listed Building Consents and prepared detailed drawings and tenders were sought for the relocation. Unfortunately the Leatherhead Society made the decision not to provide the funding and it looked like the project would need to be put on hold.

Determined not to let all the work undertaken to date go to waste, Mike contacted the Weald & Downland Museum to see if they might be interested. As luck would have it, they had plans for a collection of farm buildings and the Eastwick dairy was an ideal model dairy that fitted their requirements perfectly.

Assisted by the drawings originally created by Nye Saunders, in 2011 the Weald & Downland Museum took down the building, developed further recordings of the structure and placed it into storage until funds were made available for the restoration.

Eventually in 2017 the museum secured funding and Joe Thompson, the resident carpenter at the Museum started its reconstruction and the team at Nye Saunders went to view the progress as part of their annual summer outing.

This year has seen the Eastwick Park Dairy completed and the grand opening will be taking place at The Weald & Downland Museum in October.

Click below to read articles relating the restoration of Eastwick Park Dairy on site at The Weald & Downland Museum.

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