I received the plans of the different Alterations. Staircase. Butlers pantry. Still room. Bed rooms – over. this morning from Mr Harrison <1> which I am going to proceed in executing tomorrow morning I have proceeded with the different works, taken down the old Balustrade repar’d each end of parapet New Drawg Room preparing of new ones for fixing in front –
The steps from Stone Gallery to Bottom paving of Stone with Stone Jambs to doorway and skirting are compleat, Having prepared and hung swing door corresponding with the old one to open each way to admit of more Light and accommodation – taken down the wood wainscoting and Plastered the wall secure from any fire – I have frequently had the stove a light [sic] to convey the Hot air into Museum, but am sorry to say it is liable to smoke, and will I expect without either to raise the Shaft of chimney, otherways [sic] to have a small fireplace to Assist the Draft at the upright turn of flue from the Horizons in the jamb of Window stone gallery. It will not draw without flaming and burning some shavings to assist the Length of draft at first lighting, which method you please to approve off [sic]. Having completed and accomplish’d the two fire Places the one in Confessional room the other in small Dress. room adjoining Cloister room. taken down the progecting [sic] fire Place, finding a chimney piece stove &c. compleat behind – seperated [sic] the two flues, without disturbing of Inside or out of chimney or wainscoting in room, tryed [sic] the effect answering every purpose – The Cottages are nearly compleat, Glazed, Doors hung – &c &c The Keeper may occupy his by next week. Having the Coppers fixed. Grates sett, floors & Paving laid, only exception is the washouse [sic] floor to each which will be finish [sic] next week –. I am forwarding Captn Feildings <2> Room having the Jambs to small window fixed but find the outside wall, being only rough stone work and very much out of upright, only Cased from the Original wall, The upper part much more than the bottom, am afraid it will not be sufficient to build a parapet upon without taking some part of it down meeting with your pleasure & approbation
I am Sir Your most Obedt Hble Servt
David Reading –
Feby 16th 1828 –
W. H. F. Talbot Esqr
31 Sackville Street
1. Henry Harrison (1785?-1865), London architect who was being consulted about proposed changes to the South Front of Lacock Abbey. He was active the parish of St James’s, London, which included Sackville Street. Around 1830, he worked on WHFT’s uncle, Sir Charles Lemon's Carclew House, Cornwall.
2. Rear Admiral Charles Feilding (1780–1837), Royal Navy; WHFT’s step-father.