The Cedars, Church Street, Epsom
Members may have noticed that during the summer the Borough Council have been refurbishing the Cedars and kindly permitted access to the works for a note to be taken of the fabric exposed. The following comments cover one of the features observed.
It has long been on record that a panel of mathematical tiles existed on the Worple Road flank wall, above the side door, and we understood they were to be reinstated prior to the completion of the project. However, it was surprising to find that mathematical tiles remain under the render on the rear and part of the left flank elevation. The tiles appear to be fixed onto brickwork that at least on the flank has been cut back so that the face of the tiles is flush with the remaining exposed brickwork on the elevation. All the tiles used on the Cedars appear to be of the same colour and profile and it is thought that the whole of the rear elevation and part of each side were faced in this material, probably during the late eighteenth century. The tiles on the Worple Road frontage were fixed on to boarding and, therefore, date from the time that this part of the property was erected to form a back stair and side entrance. At the same time refacing the rear wall with the mathematical tiles and returning them around the other side for a short distance took place. This reinforcing may have been carried out because the old brickwork was deteriorating, or to obliterate alterations in it. Unfortunately the corner detail had been destroyed on the one external angle where the render had been removed, and special note must be made of any future works on the elevation of this property.
The new tiles have now been fixed, but unfortunately do not match the originals in colour or quality. There are many problems in obtaining good matched replacement mathematical tiles, and it is unfortunate that the old tiles were not reused and supplemented with salvage tiles from other local buildings.
Our thanks go to both the contractors and the Council for their co-operation regarding site inspections. A more detailed report will be prepared in due course.