LEAD roofing on two listed buildings within the grounds of Tredegar House is set to be replaced with alternative materials after repeated thefts.

Thieves have stolen lead from roofs at the Workshops and the Gardener’s Cottage within the estate, which is looked after by the National Trust.

And now Newport City Council has recommended a listed building application to replace the lead with another material is approved.

A heritage impact assessment says that ‘ideally’ changes to traditional materials would not be made, but that repeated thefts have brought about the proposed change.


The Trust’s insurers will not pay out again if repairs are carried out using ‘traditional’ lead, with fears of further thefts, according to planning documents.

South Wales Argus:

One of the roofs with temporary protection after a theft. Picture: Michael Davies architect

“Tredegar House has suffered a series of metal theft incidences over the past couple of years,” a heritage impact assessment says.

“No sooner has the lead been reinstated and paid for by the insurers, and the lead has been stolen again.

“The lead has now been stolen twice and the insurers will not pay out again if the repairs are carried out using ‘traditional lead’.”

A lead substitute is proposed to replace the roof covering, with a close appearance to the original.

South Wales Argus:

One of the roofs soon after the theft. Picture: Michael Davies architect

Further measures to prevent thefts, including CCTV, secure fixing of materials and embossing are also being looked at.

The plans have been designed to protect the historic value of the Grade-II listed buildings, which sit within the estate of the grade-I listed Tredegar House, described as “one of the finest Restoration period houses in Britain”.

“The dilemma is that a replacement material will need to look like lead so that it is does not stand out and be at odds with the historic character of the building,” the heritage impact assessment adds.

South Wales Argus:

An aerial view of Tredegar House showing the Workshops and Gardener's Cottage (red arrow). Picture: Michael Davies architect

“However, if it is a very good match it may fool the thief into thinking it is the real thing.

“If this is only recognized after the theft event has occurred, then it is too late and the damage is already done, even if the material is later rejected.”

Newport council has referred the listed building application to Cadw, with a recommendation to approve.