An original hand-carved stone barrel finial, a special feature of Palmers Brewery roof, had to be replaced during recent restoration of the Grade II thatched building – one of the rarest and most historic brewery buildings in the UK.
Workmen discovered that the barrel finial, one of many original features of the building, was cracked and beyond repair. An exact copy was commissioned from Harvey Stone in Yeovil, who specialise in hand-carved Ham Hill limestone work.
Local builders, Mac Building, have overseen the roof restoration and the challenge was given to head of masonry Michael Savage and apprentice Tom McNamee to roll the barrel up a ladder and resin-fix it onto a stainless steel rod at the gable end of the roof.
Tim Macdonald, MD of Mac Building, said: ‘Rolling a stone barrel up a ladder isn’t something you get asked to do every day!’
Cleeves Palmer, Palmers Sales Director said: ‘We’re very pleased with the results; the roof looks very smart and the barrel looks excellent against the new thatch.’
The roof restoration has involved replacing the entire thatch, another extremely unusual feature of the building, which dates back to 1794. Palmers Brewery is the last remaining thatched brewery in the UK.