With holidays overseas on hold for now, many of us are exploring what attractions the UK has to offer. Carpenter Oak have designed and raised timber framed spaces that are open to the public, offering an insight into our work and showcasing how traditional carpentry methods can still be utilised to create expansive spaces that are designed to cater for large numbers of people.
From museums and information centres to galleries and wineries, these are some of our most memorable public buildings that you can visit…
The Oystercatcher, Polzeath
Cornwall remains one of the most popular regions of the UK, particularly in the summer months for its warm climate and endless beaches. The Oystercatcher in Polzeath is an old favourite venue for locals and visitors that has seen a comprehensive refurbishment, including a glulam framed bar and restaurant. Find out more about the project in our case study or book your visit at oystercatcherpolzeath.co.uk.
The National Arboretum, Westonbirt, Gloucestershire
We’ve been involved in several projects at the National Arboretum, starting with the Maples Restaurant in 2001 and most recently the Wolfson Tree Management Centre in 2017. The vast majority of the builds have used timber from the arboretum itself and a visit is a chance to see a huge array of species in one place and understand how timber can be used in construction from both an aesthetic and sustainable viewpoint. You can find out more in our case study or book tickets at forestryengland.uk.
Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, Cornwall
Perfectly suited to the warm Cornish climate, Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens near St Ives features art installations dispersed around the landscape, overlooking St Michael’s Mount and is a great alternative to the more crowded parts of the coastline. In 2017 we designed and raised an oak framed gallery using cutting edge technology and materials. Book your visit at tremenheere.co.uk or find out more in our case study.
Stowe Gardens, Buckinghamshire
The National Trust’s Stowe Gardens in Buckinghamshire was a Carpenter Oak project that combined restoration, reconstruction and new build. The original 1717 inn now features an additional restaurant, shop and entrance and is the hub for visitors to the gardens. Visit by booking at nationaltrust.org or find out more in our case study.
Rosslyn Chapel Visitors Centre, Midlothian, Scotland
In 2011 we designed and raised an innovative timber framed structure for the new visitor centre adjacent to Rosslyn Chapel, which saw a huge increase in interest following the success of The Da Vinci code novel and film. Find out more about the project in our case study or visit rosslynchapel.com
Hundred Hills Vineyard, Oxfordshire
Situated to take full advantage of an increasingly favourable climate and the perfect soil to take on the Champagne houses of France, Hundred Hills is a relatively new estate in a rolling Oxfordshire valley that has an oak framed tasting room and balcony structure as well as a number of future timber framed buildings that Carpenter Oak have designed in partnership with architects Nicholls Brown Webber. Book your visit at hundredhills.wine or find out more in our case study.
Levens Hall, Cumbria
Levens Hall is a privately owned house with gardens that feature the world’s oldest topiary. The owners wanted to attract more visitors and revenue by improving their facilities adjacent to the Elizabethan house. We designed and raised a covered outdoor space, lean-to structure and the roof structure of the cafe in 2019. Find out more in our case study or book a visit at levenshall.co.uk.
The Cornish Arms, Cornwall
Situated outside Padstow, Rick Stein’s Cornish Arms added an oak framed extension to their dining space in 2015. Quieter than the bustling Padstow harbour, the high quality food and drink make it a favourite for locals and visitors to the area. Find out more in our case study or book a table at rickstein.com.
David Douglas Pavilion, Perthshire
Celebrating the life and work of David Douglas, the Pavilion in Perthshire is built entirely of Scottish grown species, including Douglas fir – named after the botanist who first identified it in 1825. Our Scotland yard designed the frame for the pavilion, intended to echo natural shapes, with the shingle roof shaped like a Douglas fir seed. Find out more about the project in our case study or book your visit at explorersgarden.com.
Duchy of Cornwall Nursery, Lostwithiel, Cornwall
We’ve been involved in several Duchy of Cornwall projects over the years, including the Douglas fir and oak framed shop and tea rooms in Lostwithiel. Much of the timber used was from the Duchy estate and the surrounding area is well worth a visit too. Find out more in our case study or visit their website to get more information.
Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, Alloway, Scotland
Completed in 2011, the new museum was part of the redevelopment of the existing Robert Burns National Heritage Park. Celebrating the life of Scotland’s National bard, the locally sourced Douglas fir and steel frame created a 500 square metre exhibition space. Find out more in our case study or book a visit at nationaltrustscotland.org
Penistone Market, Yorkshire
If you’re looking for somewhere to illustrate the sheer scale of what’s possible with a timber frame, it doesn’t get much bigger than Penistone Market. When raised in 2010, it was the largest oak framed structure in the UK and is made up of around 100 cubic metres of oak. It houses the popular covered market in the historic town in the heart of the Pennines.
Church House Inn, Devon
Just outside Totnes, not to far from our Devon yard is the Church House Inn, Rattery – a pub dating back to 1028. Keen to extend their dining space but keep the traditional feel of timber frame, we designed and raised an oak framed extension to the pub in 2015. Find out more in our case study or book a table at thechurchhouseinn.co.uk.
Nancarrow Farm, Cornwall
A hidden Cornish gem, Nancarrow Farm is the perfect venue to which explore Cornwall from, situated in a quiet valley between the north and south coasts of the county. We raised a large wedding barn in 2015 and the venue hosts regular feasts and events that celebrate their own incredible produce. Visit Nancarrow Farm to book or find out more in our case study.
Brixton Windmill Visitors Centre
Raised in 2020, the Douglas fir framed visitors centre in Brixton has been built around the local landmark – now London’s last working windmill. Working with architects Squire & Partners and commissioned by Lambeth Council, the Centre now hosts regular school groups, adult education initiatives, community groups and local residents. Find out more at Brixton Windmill Centre or in our case study.
Experience Carpenter Oak up close
As well as the number of public buildings you can visit, there are also plenty of places you can stay, as well as visting our Show Barn in Devon or attending one of our open house days or trade shows. Find out more in our events calendar – we hope to meet you soon and discuss your project in person.