The latest on the building of W. Smith’s Chemist and Photographer’s


The Chemist and Photographer’s so far.




The first stone of the building to be laid.


Clara helping out on site.

The foundations for our new Chemist and Photographer’s were finished in July and since then the team have been working hard on the construction the main structure of the building.

Paul with help from Cos, has been busy building up the block work that will form the inner skin of the building, and  making the outer skin (along with some ‘assistance’ from Clara) with reclaimed Georgian bricks.

All of the buildings at Beamish are treated differently, as they are each very unique. When one of our buildings is completely new, it has to conform to current building standards. So while we always try to make their appearance historically authentic, we have to make concessions like using modern insulation or steel work. This is so that our new builds are both structurally sound and more environmentally friendly. However, all of the visible elements of Chemist and Photographer’s – from its bricks, to its doors, to its chimney pots – are reclaimed or restored period features, rescued from being destroyed or lost.



The frame of the reclaimed external door of the Photographer’s dark room.


Back at our Joiners’ Workshop, Shaun and Dan have been working on the doors    and windows of the building. This includes creating formers for Paul to use as a guide as he constructs the walls, and re-sizing reclaimed Georgian and Victorian doors. Soon, they’ll start work on the roof structure, as well as on the intricate shop front. Look out for a blog post on how they will do this.


Work has already begun on the window frames of W. Smith’s, which have been copied from the building in Durham that we are replicating.

The next stage of work on site will be to erect the first ‘lift’, or level, of scaffolding so that Paul and Cos can start work on the building’s second storey.


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