The Well House

Exeter, Devon

The historic Royal Clarence Hotel, in Exeter, suffered a catastrophic fire in October 2016. During the works to carefully remove the fire debris, a historic polychromatic timber frame was located in the Well House - believed to be the surviving parts of a medieval structure first identified in the 1930’s.

Campbell Smith were commissioned to undertake a conservation survey of the surviving medieval timbers. The aims of the survey were to: assess the condition of the painted decoration and timber substrate, document the surviving historic fabric, undertake a brief research exercise to aid in the dating of the timbers and their decoration, and to provide treatment and preservation proposals.

A team of conservators, led by our senior conservation consultant, undertook a detailed condition survey, with digital mapping and a full photographic record of the surviving historic painted timbers and plaster. This was combined with archival research to produce a full report, which informed treatment proposals. Recommendations for the conservation of the historic decorated timbers were made, addressing short, medium and long term treatment and care.