A new brick wall in Caversham takes on a period feel…

Our brief was to transform our client’s front garden, creating a design that would compliment the period character of their house. Right from the start, the priority was the construction of a brick wall more sympathetic to, and in keeping with, the property. The project also entailed installing a new driveway using cobbled granite setts, and creating an area for planting beds – to be enjoyed from inside the property.

What we did

To select the bricks, we accompanied our client on a visit to J.Brant Reclamation at Lakeside Garden Centre at Brimpton Common. Here we were presented with a good choice of handmade reclaimed bricks and found a good match, in terms of style and colour, to tie in with the brickwork on the front of the house. An order for a thousand bricks was placed – enough to allow for wastage owing to the imperfect nature of reclaimed bricks. A note on their past life – these bricks were originally used to build the old Winchester hospital; it feels good to know that they are being recycled to create an attractive feature wall for a house in Caversham in 2019!

Back on site the existing brick wall – consisting of modern looking bricks and running very low to the ground, with tall piers standing at each end – was knocked down and removed. A concrete footing was then installed as a solid foundation for the new wall.

Our client’s instructions were to build a wall that matched the character of others in their road – meaning that some traditional brickwork was in order! This included using plinth bricks (bricks that are angled at 45% to allow for rainfall runoff), which were laid as the top surface of the wall and provide a smooth looking finish. Plinth bricks were also used in the lower part of the wall to create the narrowing effect & emphasise the three brick panels. Particularly effective is the dog tooth layer of bricks just below the top ridge, which gives extra definition and interest.

The outcome

The new brick wall provides a proper boundary between the pavement and the front garden, adding some curb appeal. It draws the eye beyond, to the period charm of the house itself, which had previously been let down by the old wall.

A nice touch too was to plant a border of Yew hedging just inside the new wall, providing some privacy as well as contributing some interest to the garden and adding to the period feel. One of the neighbours complimented our work when he said he didn’t know that there was the skill base anymore to build such a wall.

In contrast with the period charms of this front garden, we installed a modern looking shutter screen fence along the right boundary side wall. This is an example of how sometimes a modern feature can fit in with a more traditional design – in this case the smart look of the screen fence works well with the formal look of the granite setts and brick wall. For more examples of shutter screen fences, please refer to other blogs here, here and here.

J.Brant Reclamation at Lakeside Garden Centre – Brimpton Common – tel: 0118 981 3882.

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