It is not every day that someone reimagines an historic house restoration as a luxury Tasmanian hotel.
Captain Roadknight constructed Woodbridge in the early 1800’s and it was completed in 1825.
To understand the building, one first must understand the building techniques of the time.
Convicts built Woodbridge using handmade low-fired terra cotta bricks. They tuck pointed the joints which indicates that the building was originally red brick with sandstone lintels and sills. However, the builders decided to render the entire building with a simple lime wash. They attached the render to the brickwork with wooden pegs. A section of plasterwork fell off during the renovation and the process of attaching using wooden pegs was clearly evident
The builders took some effort to enhance the appearance of the building. They decorated the render with a pattern to suggest stone clockwork. Also there is evidence that they attached a portico above the main ‘rear’ door.
The carpenters supported the floors using large hand-sawn beams. They used pit saw techniques to dress the timbers. In pit sawing, a 2 man team uses a long saw, with one of the two standing in a pit.
They constructed the internal walls of lath and plaster. The carpenters created a wall structure from thin strips of wood and then plastered over it.
The level of technology in the colony at that time was basic. The builders would have shipped the windows and 6 panel doors from England. They would have constructed the nails and metal piping by hand on site.