The Spotted Cow began life as a beer house, before being re-built in its present form to become a Public House, at the turn of the 20th century. The property eventually received its full license after The Artichokes Inn on Swinegate was closed in 1921. The property received heavy damage during World War II after a Nazi bomb exploded in the street outside, causing damage to the front windows and removing most of the roofing tiles. John Smiths Brewery bought the property is 1971 from Warwick & Richardson Brewery of Newark. Circa 2002 it became an Indian Restaurant before being bought in a dilapidated state in December 2008 by Ian Carroll Limited, builder in Lincolnshire , with the intention of converting the property into two high grade offices and two luxury apartments.
The property at the present moment is undergoing extensive renovation, though it is to be noted that the external features as far as possible are going to be in keeping with what the property was like during the middle of its life. However the internals of the property will be modified to incorporate two offices on the ground floor and two apartments on the first floor. Allow us to begin firstly by considering the external façade of the property.
To try and maintain the property to be in keeping with what it was like previously historical research was undertaken. Surprisingly, even with it being a social hub in the Southern end of Grantham, very few photographs could be obtained, and very few facts about the property could be found, the most being summarised in the introduction of this article. However from the photographs that was found at least one was of value. Firstly the chimneys were removed to aid in maintenance of the property in later years, but also more importantly they were of value as the bricks were saved, and used to make good any alterations to the external of the property. The original roof tiles were removed and the entirety of the pitched roof section re-felted and battened. The next major step in the project was the choice of roof tile that was to be used to re-tile the roof. Here again major effort was inputted. The choice was narrowed down through the reasons outlined previously, leaving a replacement clay tile as the only choice. Today only two major tile companies still manufacture the modern alternative to the original clay tile, Sandtoft and Marley Eternet. The main deciding factor between these companies was that one choice had colour consistency through out the tile, therefore this was chosen. To be in keeping with Public House tradition and to also highlight the building from those surrounding it, a mixture of single camber red smooth clay tiles and four rows of red smooth clay club tiles in the middle, run through the entirety of the roof. The ridge tiles again were specifically chosen to highlight the building, these being two hole crested ridge, these being chosen to offset the loss of the chimneys. The rainwater gutters and down pipes were replaced like for like with similar cast iron products.
The external woodwork of the building was another key issue. With the frontage of the building sporting mock Tudor façade to the top half of the property, obviously some of these beams needed replacement. Again in keeping with the originality of the property these replacements were custom made in Oak to the original sizes. The fascia boards also were replaced where needed. However one of the main focal points of the property was also in need of replacement, these being the large finials to the tops of both gable ends at the front. Once removed it was soon realised that these weren’t to the original design as seen in the photos found. Therefore new finials were custom made in Oak to match as closely as possible the design as seen in the photographs.
The external rendering of the building was also in poor condition in some areas, here the rendered panels were chopped off and replaced with products to match the original as close as possible.
Another main feature of the building was that of the windows. The original were of a wooden construction. Here uPVC products were considered for fitting, but soon dismissed as not in keeping with the spirit of the building. Therefore it was decided that new custom made windows would be used manufactured out of Sapelli. The windows to the entirety of the property were to match the design of the windows to the front elevation. However building regulations also needed to be taken into account through out the design process of the windows, this being that the windows had to open far enough for escape in the event of a fire. 26mm double glazed units are fitted to meet current energy efficiency ratings and also Georgian bars are incorporated into the top panels of the windows, again to mirror the heritage of the building.
The front and side elevations of the property are decorated to be a light colour and the woodwork again to be black at this present moment in time.
Allow us now to consider the internal aspects of the project. As stated previously the use of the property is to be changed from that of a public building into two private apartments and two offices. Here at the beginning of the project, all the existing electrical systems were stripped out to make ready for four new electrical services, each to cater for the use of each sub-dwelling. The existing plumbing system was also removed to make way for four new plumbing systems, consisting of mainly of hot and cold water feeds to all four sub-dwellings. It needs to be mentioned at this stage that wiring is also incorporated to allow for remote key-fob locking on all external doors and also remote video entrance system for the apartments to the first floor.
The layout of the internals is greatly changed from that previously. The most notable one being the re-positioning of the staircase to the first floor, so that the most space efficient layout could be used in both the apartments and offices below. The walls between both the offices down stairs and also the apartments upstairs also had to be re-designed in accordance with the current fire regulations. A fire break had to be incorporated in the roof between the two apartments, to stop the spread of fire through the roof void, but also the wall between the two offices had also to be designed with this in mind. Stud walls to both floors are also installed to gain the desired layout shape of the property. Once this was in place all external walls were re-plastered, stud walls boarded and skimmed, and the ceilings double boarded and skimmed also.
Suspended ceilings are also to be installed in the office spaces
Both apartments are to incorporate new bathrooms, including floors being tiled and all walls being tiled from floor to ceiling, as well as kitchens being fitted to a modern design.
The offices are to have suspended ceilings to gain a more professional feel to the spaces, storage space for all office essentials, male and female toilets, disable accessible toilet facilities, kitchen fitting in Grantham, all new computer cabling by Grantham Electrician
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