Students from a range of construction courses at London South East Colleges have begun working on a very attractive restoration project at one of the UK’s most gracious stately homes. This forms part of their work experience and Career Advantage programmes that provide them with the crucial skills required by employers.
Charlton House, located in the Royal Borough of Greenwich is one of the finest examples of Jacobean architecture in England. Built between 1607 and 1612 for Sir Adam Newton, it has undergone a number of changes and modifications over the last four centuries but remains evocative of times gone by.
Bricklaying, carpentry, and plumbing students are currently on location working on a venture that will enable them to apply their existing skills and learn many new ones. They will work with a team of specialist architects and craftsmen to learn traditional expertise needed for the refurbishment of historic buildings.
Phase one of the project concentrates on restoring a disused building back into its original purpose of a summer and banqueting house that can be used as a public space. The students are removing old fixtures and fittings and clearing the way before the real transformations can begin.
Rob Lynch is the Head of STEM at our Kidbrooke Construction Training Centre in Greenwich. He says: “The project at Charlton House is the start of what could be a significant partnership between the College and Royal Greenwich Heritage Skills. This is a great opportunity for our students to work with architects, artisans, and craftsmen to attain much needed traditional skills to maintain our historic buildings."
Level 2 Bricklaying student, Jack is thoroughly enjoying the experience that the project is delivering and believes it will greatly improve his chances of employment on completion of his course. He says: “I’m honoured to be involved in this project. I’m local to the area and to be working on renovating something historical is great! This opportunity will allow me to showcase my abilities as well as to learn lots of new skills.”
Tracey Stringfellow is the Chief Executive Officer of Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust and is delighted with the progress being made at the site so far. She says: “This is the Trust’s first capital project since it became a charity in 2014. This project is exciting in its own right, but the fact we are working with students and young people from the local area helps us meet the learning objectives of our charity.
It’s great to be working with London South East Colleges and this has opened the door for future projects and the next phase of the renovation to the Summer House at Charlton House. This is the start to a long and exciting new relationship”.