Over 13 tonnes of Burlington’s Elterwater roofing slate and natural stone has been incorporated within the Wordsworth Trust’s award winning and newly-built Jerwood Centre in Grasmere, Cumbria. Adjoining the grade II listed Wordsworth Museum and close to Wordsworth’s former home, Dove Cottage, the new Centre is now a permanent home to an unrivalled collection of books, manuscripts and artwork from Wordsworth and the Romantic period.

Having already received a commendation from the Civic Trust, and an RIBA Award, both of which seek out the highest quality in design that also makes a positive contribution to the local environment, the Jerwood Centre features Burlington’s pale green Elterwater slate laid in diminishing courses on the roof of the main building. Whilst the walls of the main building and adjacent rotunda are also of the same stone, they are ‘quarry waste’ built to look like a dry stone wall and, to aid authenticity, the lime mortar is kept 50mm back from the face of the wall.

The concept for the building came from architects Benson & Forsyth in 1992, who were charged with creating a 21st Century building in traditional Lakeland materials and which would fit into a difficult site. Napper Architects, based in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, were then appointed to take forward the concept and build the new Centre.

Commenting on the specification of Burlington’s roofing slate and stone walling, Ian Wells of Napper Architects said: “Burlington was an obvious choice as the design of the building was to reflect the local vernacular, and Elterwater was the closest match to the slate used throughout the neighbouring village.”

He continued: “This outstanding material offers the very long life qualities appropriate for a repository building designated to protect the internationally important Wordsworth manuscripts for future generations.”

The three-storey building comprises a reading room on the top floor that houses many contemporary and significant editions of poetry. On the second floor, a cataloguing and work room provides a space where art works and documents can be preserved, and the basement houses the remainder of the Wordsworth Trust’s collection of almost 60,000 letters, books, manuscripts, paintings and drawings. The Rotunda is used for poetry readings, talks, lectures and small exhibitions.

For further information on Burlington’s range of natural stone products view www.burlingtonstone.co.uk

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