North-East surveyors work on Wordsworth's house

PRESEVING HISTORY: Surveyor Paul Lewis.

LITERARY TRADITION: Allan Banks, in Grasmere, Cumbria, which is one of William Wordsworth's former homes.

First published in Business News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy Business Editor

A NORTH-EAST surveying firm have won a contract to help preserve a piece of literary history – restoring poet William Wordsworth’s former home.

North-East and Cumbrian specialists Lewis Surveying Associates have been appointed to project manage the installation of a green heating system at Allan Banks in Grasmere, Cumbria, which is being renovated by the National Trust following a severely damaging fire last year.

The carbon zero biomass heating system, which burns renewable wood pellets is highly efficient and essential to preserve the Grade II-listed building and its future contents.

The heating system also qualifies for the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive and 20 years of financial contributions to running costs.

LSA partner Paul Lewis said: “Ofgem’s scheme of financial incentives for burning non-fossil fuels means that commercial property uses can now benefit from real help when lowering their carbon emissions.

“The National Trust is committed to this end and is using this type of system more often in their large non-residential properties. Typically, the incentives allow accredited systems to achieve pay-back within six to eight years.

“With our knowledge of historic buildings, we can set the performance requirements correctly and ensure that installations are both discreet and sympathetic to their character.”

LSA is run by Me Lewis and his brother Peter with offices in Darlington, Richmond, Hexham and Brougham, near Penrith.

Paul’s nieces Jenny and Josie offer architectural and design services including plans and drawings and interior design.

The firm has also worked on Wordsworth’s former home in Cockermouth, which was damaged by floods.

Allan Bank, which overlooks Grasmere in the Lake District, was first occupied in 1805-8 by Wordsworth.

Later the villa became the retirement home of Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley, one of the founders of the National Trust and a family friend of children’s author Beatrix Potter. Canon Rawnsley bequeathed the property to the Trust before his death in 1920.

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