St Cross Mill, is a complex of buildings spread along side the Itchen river. At the front of the main house there are two doors. Through the one of the left is a maze of rooms lavished with grand fire grates and parquet floors but through the door to the right you find the beating heart of the mill. A dark room of oak beams a dusty floor and a water wheel powerfully laboring through the torrents of water. In front of the house two mill races burst out of the lawn and scuttle off to join the river Itchen
When we were called onto site the original kitchens were completely intact and preserved as they would have been in the 1920s. The imposing ‘New Gold Medal Eagle Range’ stood pride of place in an earlier chimney. It had been built in with porcelain white bull nose bricks that matched the same colour tiles in the ranges coving.
The weak point to any kitchen range is the sheet metal work as this is vulnerable to premature deterioration if left dormant or in the case of damp or moisture ingress. The mighty Eagle Range is sadly no exception to this rule and the ovens were both rotten through in places. To replace them the entire range requires removing and dismantling as is the case for all ‘Closed ranges’.
There were lot of other parts that required attention as well including patterns that were required for a new grate, firebox bridge, top plate and hot plates. Various other repairs were required to the 322 individual parts that make up this type of range.
Many of the original tiles were damage and the client requested some options. I usual response would be one of the repair of the originals or renewal like for like. However, the client was interested in the different tiles that were available from the Eagle Range Foundry. We therefore had silkscreens produced from some original Eagle delft style tiles and had a new set of transfer tiles manufactured by Heraldic Pottery.
The restored range has now been installed back at the mill by Osborne Restoration as a fully functional appliance.