Our apothecary garden at Sheffield Manor Lodge is in desperate need of conservation works. The garden sits in the ruins of what we believe was one of the great kitchens of the grand manor house. It celebrates Tudor grown herbs, giving visitors a sensory experience of plants that were vital to cooking and medicine in the time when Mary, Queen of Scots was held prisoner here. To stop further deterioration, and keep our visitors safe, we have had to rope off access to parts of the garden, limiting our acess for our public visitors and school children.
The walls need repointing and turf capping to protect the stonework and prevent further damage. The window lintels need replacing to ensure this remaining glimpse of this once grand manor house can be seen. Without this work it is likely that we will have to close the garden.
We need to raise £8,000 to repair and conserve the walls surrounding the main apothecary garden.
Your support will help ensure these walls will stand for future generations, enabling us to keep the garden open for everyone and preserve a part of this great Sheffield story.
Exactly what works need to be undertaken we hear you ask. We have undergone a conservation plan which has identified repointing and capping of our walls and lintel replacement as priorities.
Repointing will restore the look and improve the durability of the walls. Mortar joints in the apothecary garden have weathered back to such an extent that the edge of the stones are exposed forming a ledge that encourages water to seep into the masonry. We need to repoint with lime mortar where the original mortar has weathered away.
Soft capping uses grass and other plants to cover masonry in order to protect the wall below. It's a bit like laying turf! Traditionally cement was used but this requires a lot maintence as it tends to shrink and crack, allowing more water into the wall. Soft capping also supports biodiveristy meaning we can protect the walls and the planet at the same time.
The lintels in the windows have been there for around 450 years and are showing their age. They are rotting due to weather conditions and are sturggling to support the stone work above. We are using arcow props to support our window and make sure the grand scale of Sheffield Manor Lodge can still be glimpsed by visitors. This work would mean proper restoration of this window so it can been seen for generations to come.