Timber triumphs

Replacement like-for-like period style timber windows from the Mumford & Wood Conservation range have been installed in the thermal upgrade programme of St Margaret’s Junior Girls’ boarding house at the famous Cheltenham Ladies’ College. Other boarding houses at the school have also been refurbished in recent years, with window replacements by Mumford & Wood.

The College, which was founded in 1853, is an independent boarding and day school for girls aged 11-18 years. The College has been at the forefront of girls’ education for over 150 years and has a worldwide reputation for academic excellence. One of the College’s earliest Principals was a prominent suffragette educator who also founded St Hilda’s College, Oxford.

Main contractor M C H Building Services, Gloucester, a member of the Federation of Master Builders, has undertaken the first phase of this challenging project. The front elevation is now complete, requiring over 80 casement and sash windows, and the remaining return and rear elevations, requiring a further 250 made-to-order Conservation windows, have been surveyed by Mumford & Wood for staged deliveries from July 2016.

“From our earlier project for the College we were able to match a relatively simple moulding which helps to achieve a consistent aesthetic and appearance to these beautiful and elegant buildings,” said Scott Martin, regional sales manager, Mumford & Wood. “Not surprisingly the College is within a Conservation area and although planning permission was achieved for aluminium replacements, the College decided to proceed with timber as the aesthetic of our Conservation timber window is more sympathetic to the architectural style of the building.”

Boarders are welcomed and encouraged to settle in easily to what might be the first time away from home, which means their comfort is of great importance to housemistress Laura Bursey Faulkner. The replacement of single glazed windows with modern factory finished, double glazed units has made a substantial difference to the warmth and cosy atmosphere of this large building which is almost a century old. Many of the single glazed windows had come to the end of their practical life and contributed towards significant heat loss. The girls’ common room, which includes classic interior design features, finishes and fabrics, provides a relaxing and rewarding area to share and socialise.


“The College has achieved an Eco-Schools green flag award for its commitment to energy conservation,” commented Ian Minchella, estates manager, Cheltenham Ladies’ College. “Energy is the College’s third highest cost after people and food, hence it’s both financially and environmentally important we seek viable ways of reducing energy consumption and our carbon footprint. We continue to achieve this by changes in user behaviour and, as in this instance, changing the fabric of our historic buildings where feasible and sympathetic to do so.

“The installation of Mumford & Wood Conservation windows has significantly contributed to upgrading the thermal performance of the junior boarding houses, reducing heat loss and providing improved comfort levels for the building’s occupants.”

Manufactured entirely in Great Britain, Conservation windows and doors are made from clear grade and engineered Siberian Larch, a slow growing and robust species, which achieves maximum strength and stability in fine joinery. Made to the exacting standards of the British Woodworking Federation’s Wood Window Alliance scheme, Conservation windows and doors are BRE A+ rated and achieve excellent levels of acoustic and thermal performance that exceed the requirement of current Building Regulations’. They carry the BSI Kitemark and are Energy Saving Trust listed. Products are supplied to site with three coats of high quality, spray-applied, microporous paint, or stain, as standard. Heritage paint colours and a dual-finish are also available.


Mumford & Wood
Tower Business Park
Kelvedon Road
Tiptree | CO5 0LX
0162 181 8155