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Buchan Completes Restoration of Heritage Listed St. Brigid’s Cottage

The Buchan Group have recently completed the adaptive restoration of the WA State Heritage Listed St. Brigid’s Cottage.

The Cottage, constructed in 1913 as an orchard store for Lesmurdie House, originally comprised a single room building of laterite stone, with a distinctive Marseilles tiled roof and verandahs on all sides. Altered in 1960 for residential use by enclosing the verandahs, more recently the Cottage had fallen into disrepair, showing signs of deterioration, particularly in the verandah and roof fabric, with rotting timber columns and sagging roof framing.

The Cottage was planned for restoration/re-use in late 201, with a vision to restore the cottage to its 1913 state, removing the 1960 additions. The building was to be adapted and altered for school use as short term accommodation for visiting teachers, Sisters of Mercy and parents of children boarding at the College.

However just prior to commencement of work on site, the Cottage was extensively damaged in an arson attack in September 2015, destroying many of the original features.   New works replaced most of these features as closely as possible to the original conditions.

Specialised wood turners manufactured the new columns to match the originals with rounded and tapered main shaft together with the ‘Doric’ style capitals. The intent of the restoration was to respect and draw focus to the original stone/brickwork wall. Second hand and reclaimed timber floor boards were sourced to achieve the best match to the existing jarrah floor boards. The existing ‘Metters’ stove and brick chimney stack on the Southern external wall survived the fire, but was left in a poor state. The chimney and stove were cleaned and restored, and adapted into the new bathroom design.

An entry porch was considered a requirement to the west elevation to provide weather protection and give the cottage an “address’ facing Lesmurdie House adjacent.  The entry is of contemporary design utilising timber and glass and was approved by the State Heritage Office. 

The refurbishment reflects the original Cottage, and has brought ‘life’ back into the building within the grounds of Lesmurdie Estate.

The project was led by Director Ken Musto and Associate Director Peter Garvey.