A FAST-GROWING family building surveyor firm, which restored William Wordsworth's childhood home to its former glory after flood damage, is carrying out work on another of the 18th Century poet's former residences, which was struck by fire.

Lewis Surveying Associates, headquartered in Richmond, North Yorkshire restored the poet's childhood home, a Georgian townhouse in Cockermouth, Cumbria, on behalf of the National Trust, after it was devastated in the floods of November 2009.

The firm, started by brothers Peter and Paul Lewis three years ago, and with offices in Darlington, Hexham and Penrith, is again working with the National Trust on Allan Bank, which overlooks Grasmere in the Lake District and was severely damaged in a fire last year.

Wordsworth was the first occupant of the house, living there with his wife Mary, their three children, his sister Dorothy and literary friends Thomas de Quincey and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Paul Lewis, who is surveyor and project manager for the scheme, said: "I have worked on many historic properties, including Wordsworth House at Cockermouth, but Allan Bank is the most interesting project so far.

"We started with the premise of doing nothing then rationalised how and how far we should intervene, whether that be taking off wallpaper or working out how to replicate the finish on original plasterwork.

"We have gone into great detail over every aspect to establish with some certainty what the house was like and to ensure complete integrity in the restoration.

"It's a piece of detective work that never stops. We find something new every week. It's been a very intellectually demanding project which is what makes it such an exciting challenge."

Once the restoration is complete the Trust plans to open Allan Bank to the public for the first time in 200 years.

Wordsworth stayed there for two years and 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.