When 1895, the Wythes decided to re-model Copped Hall; the changes included the building of a new 3 story wing attached (basement to second floor) to the North of the existing Georgian Mansion. The particular design of the wing created a light well that also extended from the basement to roof level. The inner walls of the lightwell was made up of glazed white bricks and tiles to reflect light into the inner facing windows. No glazed roof was originally fitted over the light well. From when the house was abandoned in the early 1950,s to the present day, the light well wall surfaces deteriorated badly and the void became invested with pigeons and their detritus.  

In 2016, with the major restoration works of the Mansion fundamentally reaching their conclusion, attention turned to the restoration of the light well area. The Trust decided that a Light Well restoration project would encompass a number of closely linked other projects, that would transform this space. These included:

  • Replacement of the rotten wooden window lintels in the area, enabling the windows to be rebuilt and fitted.
  • Repair of the broken glazed bricks and restore the original outer wall of the Mansion.
  • Provide a new access to the wing from the first floor of the Mansion, and thereby restore the original Georgian window features.
  • Replacement of the badly corroded lift shaft roof. This would enable the restoration of our unique rope-hauled lift to be completed.
  • Construction of a new staircase within the well that would link the ground floor to the second and allow visitors to gain access to the second floor and potentially to all rooms on the second and roof space rooms, transforming the space available for Trust purposes.
  • Provide a new glazed roof over the light well that would provide a new weather and bird proof environment and enable the entire cellar space to be opened providing a significant increase in the cellar accommodation.

The programme of fund raising began with Friends holding Coffee Morning events in 2016 and 2017, and together with donations, enabled the construction of a temporary narrow “accommodation” staircase to reach the second floor for the first time in over 60 years. This provided the key first step for the follow-on projects. It goes without saying that this complex project is an expensive one, but one that will seriously transform the capacity of the Trust in terms of accommodation and events/activities capacity. Visits are now being conducted for special guests to visit the second floor where they can see for themselves the scope of the project and the wonderful views from the second floor wing windows. If you are interested in visiting the second floor then please contact Phil McKinder via the Trust email address. Visitors will be invited to contribute to the project.