Moat Tiem House is a Grade II listed house just North of the Monk Gate entrance of York’s City Wall.
We carried out extensive restoration of all of the doors in the house, including 15 internal pitch pine doors, an external out house door, the ginnel gate and of course, the front door.
New outhouse door
The decommissioned privy/coal bunker, now being used as a shed, in the small garden, I think must have been there forever. There was a piece of 6×1 pine screwed to the bottom of it, keeping it from falling apart, one new hinge and one very old tee hinge at the top.
The gate was hanging from a thick piece of wood that wobbled, having not been seated properly on the 200 year old wall. There was a small chunk of wood screwed to the other side wall for keeping the door shut with a bolt.
Although the door looked like it had been there forever, evidence that it had not was… The top of the doorway was arched and the door not, the door hung on tee hinges and not straps, the ‘single piece’ frame was very poorly fixed to the wall with no sign of it ever being seated properly.
I had all intention of restoring the door when I took the job on (I only had Peter’s photo to go off) but after seeing that the door was probably fitted in the 1950s, and seeing that the ‘planks’ were rotten up to the middle of the door, I thought it best to go to the trouble of making a new one.
I basically made a Z-braced door with 3/4″ TNG and 6×1″ pressure treated timber with a couple of additions to accommodate a simple hand made japanned catch and a Kitemarked dead lock with a 60mm backset (for which I had an antique style key made to hang inside the house).
The tee hinges were also hand made by From The Anvil and japanned and matching slotted pan headed screws.
The top of the door had to be arched, of course, and I fitted solid hardwood timbers to both side walls. I also fitted a rain deflector to the bottom of the door to stop water from hanging onto the bottom of the TNG planks.
You’ll have seen a cute little diamond shaped aperture in the original door above.
I thought it would be nice to glaze this and asked Peter if he would like an initial or a date on the glass. Something nobody would ever see but its owners and their friends.
The strange request of ‘a bear’ came back!
I only had a few inches to fit this bear in so it’s not my finest work but I think it works nice.
So here it is then, Peter’s new outhouse door, primed, undercoated twice with two top coats with Dulux’ version of Farrow & Ball’s Cookes Blue.
DOOR FURNITURE USED ON THE OUTHOUSE DOOR
Restoration of the ginnel gate
Ginnel – noun, Northern English – a narrow passage between buildings; an alley.
We restore front doors all of the time. We are never asked to restore a gate that, honestly, must have been there since the house was built 200 years ago, and restore it like it was a front door!
Now, making a new door for the outhouse, getting rid of a rotten door from the 50s, is one thing. But this ginnel door actually looks like it has a history, and lots of it.
GINNEL DOOR BEFORE RESTORATION
So, let look firstly why this door needs some TLC.
As you can see from the photo, it’s falling apart. The panels are cracked and the styles (the long bits on the side) have been planed, sorry, hacked back (so the door sort of fits) so much that there’s little strength in them any more – the door is actually only 25mm (or so) thick.
The piece of pine you see screwed between the stile and mullion is holding the door together.
In short, the door is in a horrific state.
LOCKS AND FURNITURE
From top to bottom – the black bolt is only a few decades old, fitted to try to keep the door locked, a botched DIY job.
The catch, painted blue like the door, isn’t your standard DIY store crap, good thick steel and looks pretty old. Its keep is fitted in the frame, although it hasn’t met its mate for some time.
The big sliding flat bolt lock is of similar quality, made when England’s manufacturers were able to make stuff well, the only standard they knew. It’s keep has long gone, replaced by a simple hand made angled pin, probably as old as the house. Not original but simply beautiful.
I won’t say much about the cheap grey rim lock below.
EXTERIOR AND SUFFOLK LATCH
The latch that had undoubtedly been on the door since it was made in a local joiner’s shop in York looked like it had spent as much time under the sea, rusted, painted, rusted, painted, and seized up.
We would soon chisel, scrape and sand the rust off this, treat it with some rust treatment and paint it black. Now it works great.
FRONT DOOR RESTORATION
This is Peter’s photo of his front door on Lord Mayor’s Walk in York before we took it away for restoration.
A company had just done some work on the roof (hence the scaffolding), painted the windows and some stonework.
Because the building is a Grade II listed dwelling, Peter had to apply for permission to have some of the work done, including having the colour passed for the doors.
THE INSIDE OF THE FRONT DOOR (BEFORE)
I’m not a fan of vertical letter plates for two reasons, and it’s definitely not how they look, I love how they look.
It’s because, firstly, there is no internal cover that feels like it will last five minutes. I did find one that doesn’t even cover the hole and because it’s a long piece of brass hanging from a hinge of sorts, when it gets bumped it WILL bend.
Secondly, there’s only one letter plate on the market that I would trust to last.
If you need one, I would suggest you have a joiner cut the hole perfectly using a router and leaving the cover all together. I forgot to take a photo to show how well I did this. Must have been pushed for time getting the job finished with a long way home. The only other option is to use a plastic brushed cover like the one in the photo (fitted a few years ago), it does the job well enough.
Here’s a link to the VERTICAL LETTER PLATE I used.
THE FINISHED FRONT DOOR RESTORATION
For some reason, I didn’t take photos during this restoration so all we have is shown here – the finished project.
Let’s start with some numbers. These are Croft’s Mayfair numerals.
FRONT DOOR KNOB
Croft’s lion head door knob comes in many different finishes. The knob we fitted on Peter’s front door is aged brass and bolts through the door with a large screw-head type bolt. We’ve never fitted one before and with it’s price tag we may never fit one again. A very unique knob that you won’t see anywhere.
You can get your LION HEAD KNOB here.
And the finished front door restoration at Lord Mayor’s Walk, York…
WHY NOT READ...
There was more to this one than I banked on. This front door restoration at Ladygrove House in Derbyshire had me carrying out more research into the Dakeyne family and their Georgian connections with the beautiful stone house. Finding the family’s coat of arms gave us an idea to recreate it in the leaded fanlight.