Plas Smart

From Festipedia, hosted by the FR Heritage Group

Plas Smart is the nickname of a small building at Boston Lodge, formerly the Loco Superintendent's Office, but originally the western end of the 1842-built Waggon Repair Shed in the Top Yard. It was named after Ian Smart, who played a major part in the FR revival from the 1950s onwards.

Plas Smart
Location Boston Lodge on the north west side of the Top Yard.
Register No 90
T. Corner ID BL003
Operational Yes/No
Heritage Status Grade 2 listed. Cadw listing text as follows:-

Exterior of local slatey rubble with slate roof. The whitewashed rendered front has offset gabled timber porch with pendant and finial and part-trellissed sides; flanking 2-light window. Left end, beside track, has unhorned 16-pane sash window. Reason for Listing. Listed as part of this especially complete example of a C19 railway engineering works which has important historical associations with the Ffestiniog Railway. Group value with other listed items at Boston Lodge.

Historical significance Highly significant because it is a building which survives from the earliest period of the railway. It was built approximately 1863 together with a range of 'lean to' buildings against a stone wall which has been partially demolished to make way for the present access into the Boston Lodge site. Materials and workmanship from this early phase are evident. Stone (slate); roof timbers (imported softwood rafters and ceiling joists); joinery (windows, doors and window shutters) are all original although the shutters may have been salvaged from another building and reused in this building. Lime squirling in existing mortar indicates that the mortar is of some age, probably original, and this should be conserved in any phase of external works.
Cadw Blg ID 14419
Description Solid stone walls under a mono pitched ('lean to') roof. The rear and front walls are rendered. Internally there is a horizontal ceiling and a floor which is partly suspended timber and partly concrete.
Present use Unused
Previous use Loco Superintendent’s office 18?? – 19??
Condition The building has recently had external repairs carried out.
Recent works The following works were undertaken in 2014
  1. Roof: Slates stripped and relaid on new battens and underlay. Roof structure stabilized by repairing rotten truss. Rotten rafter ends strengthened with new timber bolted to sides of rafters.
  2. Porch: Rebuilt on a like for like basis
  3. Walls: North east corner stabilized by anchoring together rear (north) and side (east) walls using embedded stainless steel rods with epoxy 'socks' (Cintec anchors),
  4. Reinstatements: Chimney stack reinstated using old photographs to inform the design.
  5. Gutters: eaves guttering repaired
Urgent and Immediate Repairs required External repairs now completed.
Less urgent repairs Internal works will be required as follows:-
  1. repair and reinstatement of floor
  2. new ceiling (lime plaster on suitable backing preferably timber laths, alternatively stainless steel 'riblath', for authentic appearance.
  3. lime plaster to walls
  4. repair sash windows and shutters
Improvements needed The following improvements are suggested:-
  1. Change modern window for one more appropriate to the period.
  2. Install electrical installation (discreetly, as original office is unlikely to have been provided with electricity although this would have been provided later).
  3. Install underfloor (electric) heating - this is necessary to help to prevent decay in the building if it is not used on a regular basis. During opening times, if the building is used as a visitor attraction, and if there are attended viewings, the open fire could be used.
  4. Insulation to ceilings and beneath underfloor heating.
Potential alternative uses The future use of this building is likely to be included within a larger scheme of conservation works to reinstate the north end of the Top Yard and Plas Smart will provide a facility to introduce visitors to the site as well as showing an authentic Victorian period workshop office.