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Repainting the Hall

An application for building consent to repaint Lytham Hall has now been submitted and registered with Fylde Borough Council. Heritage Trust for the North West commissioned historic paint specialist Nigel Leaney to do an analysis and submit a detailed paint specification for the grade 1 listed mansion. Mr Leaney has worked for decades on many of the Country’s finest and most precious historic buildings. Since Autumn 2014 Mr Leaney has been examining the painted fabric and using microscopic evidence to determine the original colours used for the stonework and window frames. He has discovered at least 18 layers of paint during his analysis of the sandstone masonry. Nigel liaised with local painter Paul Wilkinson who has forty years experience in this field, he was also part of a team that painted the hall inside and out on numerous occasions when it was in the hands of Guardian Royal Insurance. Paul knows the building like the back of his hand and even repaired much of the internal plasterwork many years ago. Lytham Hall is one of architect John Carr’s earlier buildings and was commissioned by the then Squire Thomas Clifton in 1752. The building replaced a Jacobean timber framed Hall and was completed in 1764. Originally it was finished in a warm stone ochre colour that John Carr designed perfectly to harmonise with his use of red brick. Later successive coats to the stonework were grey and then white, but white was very rarely used by Carr on his exteriors. Newark Assembly rooms in Nottinghamshire was the only exception, due to fashion being influenced by Robert Adam. Former suggested treatments involved removal of paint by pressurised water, chemical means ,shot blasting and dry ice, but Nigel Leaney feels these procedures are very aggressive and damaging to the fabric of the historic building. They also feed too much moisture back into the stone. He advises more traditional methods with very careful use of mechanical hand tools and physical scraping to bring the surfaces back to a very firm and stable base for the new decorative layers. This method will ensure no damage is done to the fabric of the building. The four most recent coatings to Lytham Hall during the 20th Century have been modern water based layers that lack a firm “key” onto the previous traditional oil based layers. This lack of adhesion has caused them to break down and flake. The newly painted surfaces need to be a tough oil based pliolite resin finish to bond well and provide a durable coating for longevity. The window frames and sashes have in excess of 20 layers in their history, with the original being white lead carbonate. The modern equivalent is Dulux Barley white 0605YT26R-C21 which Mr Leaney recommends. Project Manager John Turner said “Building Consent is required because we are intending to repaint Lytham Hall in its original historical colour, this is how John Carr intended this building to look. Because the building was white when it was first listed in the 1960’s, we require permission to change its colour scheme. We are all quite excited about this project and feel the new image will boost our visitor numbers once the Hall has received it’s correct face lift. This will all be supervised by our Building and Conservation manager Austin Grady and our architect”. General Manager Peter Anthony added, “ Our visitor numbers have grown immensely recently and I believe the Hall will become much more marketable once it has been repainted. Our Wedding and function diary is already very busy, and this will only make it go from strength to strength. Our Hall tours which tell of the fascinating Clifton history can only further increase and be opened up to a wider market. I also believe the footfall to our ever busy café will increase as the site becomes more of a destination attraction. I am also ready to submit plans for new signage for our Ballam Rd main entrance. Local company MediaPrint, along with myself, and the Trustees of HTNW have worked on the designs which incorporate a photograph of the Georgian mansion to show people what is at the top of our long drive. We are trying wherever possible to use local companies and qualified local tradesmen to work on the hall. There are lots of exciting things happening in so many ways, and I really feel things are moving on.” If anyone would like to help in raising funds for the painting of the Hall or to make a donation, please contact Deputy Manager Paul Lomax on 01253 736652, or email

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