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28th Oct 2015

TLC for 17thC Doorways at Jesus College, Oxford

Back in June the BarrJoinery team were delighted to be awarded the contract to manufacture the second quad entrance doors for Jesus College, Oxford. Every door set would be intrinsically different due to subtle variations in the beautiful 17C stone surrounds. As such, each set was to be individually templated and handmade. Careful installation would be paramount; the stone surrounds were to be treated with the utmost respect.

The workshop was soon taken over by a perfectly manufactured and carefully labeled array of frame-heads and doorjambs, with chamfered edges, bevelled detailing and traditional mortar grooves. Dry assembly, using mortice and tenon joints, brought the doors and frames to life, filling the workshop with beautiful structures ready for fixing and finishing.

Every detail had been considered; specialist cylinder blown glass was provided by London Crown Glass, to comply with safety regulations whilst keeping with the aesthetic required for this heritage building as well as specialist hinges handcrafted by 'From-the-Anvil'.

Spirits were high as the much-anticipated installation day arrived. After 5 weeks of dedicated effort in the workshop it was finally time to bring the project to fruition. Only mechanical fixings could be used so frames had to be the perfect fit - the team were holding a collective breath… but of course, all was well and seven door sets, perfect in every detail, were installed.

Jesus College is open on most days from 2pm until 4.30pm.  For a small charge visitors are welcome to walk the front and second quads and to view the Chapel and Hall. For more details visit

Mike Sheppard, Project Surveyor at Savilles Architecture and Building Consultancy and David Stevenson, Property Director at Jesus College Oxford, gave their overview of BarrJoinery’s work on the project. Here are some snippets from their project feedback:

“From our first meeting with you, both David and I were entirely confident that we were working with a very professional organisation and I am pleased to note that this view has not faltered throughout the entire process of our work together.” 

“…Your staff were asked to deliver a product to exacting standards in a very sensitive environment to which they responded accordingly; your staff are a credit to you and your organisation.”

“… The term “craftsmen” is often somewhat bereft of its true value in the modern era.  However, to my mind, your team have exhibited exemplary craftsmanship in their work and really do justice to the great tradition of craftsmen in demonstrating what can be achieved with skill, expertise and great ability. Superb!”

To see more click here.

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