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Forestry and timber stories

Highfield barn re-floored with love

Tasmanian timber and craft skills have restored a barn floor in Highfield House, near Stanley, in a pains-taking, heritage-sensitive project. Smithton-based Britton Timbers was engaged by the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service to replace the Tasmanian oak barn floor while retaining its convict-laid appearance. “It was important that it maintained the look of the heritage buildings,” Britton Timbers spokesman, Haydn Nicholls, said. “The timber could be laid on the existing floor, which was made of old slatted Tasmanian oak in disrepair. Tasmanian oak was rough-sawn and then dressed on only three sides, leaving the visible face rough. Six samples were then sent to a local timber artisan who brushed and sanded each sample to varying degrees. The heritage officers then selected the sample that achieved the desired look, and we processed the required amount of timber to that specification.” Highfield House was built in 1832 to serve as headquarters for the Van Diemen’s Land Co which had been established by royal charter seven years earlier. The building, regarded as the birthplace of European settlement in the north-west, was bought by the State Government in the early 1980s. The former barn, which was built before the house, will be used for functions, including weddings.

30 November 2016, Edition 178

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