Rotunda & Ice House Restoration, Halswell Estate

for Private Client

Halswell House and its ancillary buildings and structures sit within what was once a C18th Landscape garden. Within this setting Sir Charles Kemeys Tynte, who succeeded to Halswell in 1740, reworked the layout of gardens, buildings and ornamental structures, seeking to naturalise an earlier formal arrangement as was the spirit of the time. Sir Charles was a contemporary of Coplestone Warre Bampfylde, who resided at nearby Hestercombe House, and historic correspondence exists between the two owners relating to their respective landscaping and building works.

Thread’s work on the landscape structures within the Halswell Estate, working in collaboration with Corbel Conservation, has included the detailed design of the restoration of the Grade II listed Rotunda, and inverted cone Ice-House below.

Prior to the recent restoration, the Rotunda structure had been in poor repair with no dome remaining. However, due to the classical nature of the building, its mathematical rigour and the adherence of its design to the rules of classicism, and backed up by archival and evidential material, we were able to soundly propose the form and detail of the restoration of the new structure. The completion of the restoration was celebrated with the local community on the 14th November 2014 and represented an important milestone as the first building restoration completed at the estate by the new owner.

This work has served to reintroduce a key landmark of the designed landscape which had been lost for decades. For the current owner, this is a symbol of his intent in terms of reuniting the house and its historic landscape, the implementation of quality workmanship, the application of historical delicacy, and the reintroduction of public access and enjoyment.

The Grotto project is now live and works on the Mansion House and other ancillary buildings are also underway (please see our other project pages for more information on these).

For more information on this project please refer to the owner’s blog for regular updates –