Historic wall renovated at Norton Fitzwarren

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has completely renovated an early 19th century wall at Norton Manor. The wall, known as the Serpentine Wall is a sweeping structure which borders the approach road to the Manor. During World War II the Manor became a military base and stayed in MoD hands ever since. Since 1983 Norton Manor has been the home of 40 Royal Marine Commando.

The decorative Serpentine Wall follows the contours of the woodland bordering the driveway from the main entrance up to the stable clock tower.

Built in 1810, the main faces are made from an intricate yellow gault brick wall. The wall is up to 2 metres high in parts topped off with large decorative brick coping and dog-tooth cornicing. It is similar to that used in the adjacent stables. It was given a grade II listing by English Heritage in 1985.

Regular road use on a busy military base and the fact that the road is right next to the wall led to it becoming discoloured and covered in grime, moss, and other biological matter. It also required repointing.

DIO’s industry partner VIVO Defence Services completed the work with its partners Robert Rice Contractors. The job was finished in 15 weeks, cleaning the wall sensitively using a low pressure, chemical-free heated water system. Then the repointing work could be done and the wall returned to its original beauty.

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