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How 70 years of oast cowl restoration has made this Kent company kings of their castle For four generations specialist oast cowl company Dude and Arnette have been repairing and restoring traditional oast houses – with their distinctive conical cowls – throughout Kent and Sussex. Here we look at why the skilled and precise maintenance and repair of these cowls is such a precious part of British heritage.

[ OAST HOUSES ARE abundant in

areas where hops have traditionally been grown through the centuries – counties such as Kent and Sussex. No longer used for drying hops, there has been huge interest in the purchase and preservation of the properties for dwellings and as holiday homes, allowing their owners to have their own slice of British Heritage. Recent high-profile oast cowl restorations include that of the Darling Buds Farm, whose traditional Kentish oast house featured in the TV series The Darling Buds of May. The traditions associated with oast houses hark back centuries and Dude and Arnette – not being the type to let a good tradition go – have maintained one of them in the use of tally sticks. These lovingly crafted and branded Dude and Arnette have maintained the use of tally sticks wooden sticks act as a service record on oast houses restored and revamped across the country. Keeping them in use account of the history of oast cowls and Kent peg tiles on national serves as a handy reminder of when their next service is due, as well as TV. One of the key criteria in winning the prestigious accolade was being a lovely nod to times before the internet. ‘history and heritage’, and it was fantastic to see the architectural Another age-old tradition in oast house refurbishment is the elements that make up the charm and character of British villages use of traditional peg tiles made by Tudor Roof Tiles. The tiles are gaining a higher profile. handmade in Kent, combining expert craftsmanship with advanced Now Dude and Arnette’s reputation for skill and craftsmanship firing techniques. Each tile has its own unique colour and character has landed them a contract to carry out some key restoration and allows the oast roof to retain its authentic appearance. work at Leeds Castle near Maidstone. The project will see them Championing skill and craftsmanship led to Dude and Arnette employing the specialist construction techniques gained from over being asked by Channel 4’s Village of the Year 2017 to share their 70 years of hands-on experience. It marks a new chapter for the family-owned business and, while the details are still in the pipeline, they look forward to adding castles to the list of wonderful British heritage buildings they are working hard to maintain. q

An oast cowl restoration by Dude & Arnette

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Ecclesiastical & Heritage World Issue 76  

Ecclesiastical Heritage Church Heating Christian Resources Exhibition CRE Quarry Bank Mill Armistice Day Historic England LSTA Lead Roofing...

Ecclesiastical & Heritage World Issue 76  

Ecclesiastical Heritage Church Heating Christian Resources Exhibition CRE Quarry Bank Mill Armistice Day Historic England LSTA Lead Roofing...