TWO Carlisle students have played a leading role in the unveiling of £150,000 project to renovate an historic Cumbrian farmhouse.

Alex Fowkes, 19, and Amon Shaw, 20, who both study at the University of Cumbria's city campus, have been filming major conservation work at the National Trust's Townend in Troutbeck.

The pair have recorded the project from start to finish and have produced a short edit of the work with a longer documentary to follow.

They are due to start their second year of an Adventure Media course at the university and have set up their own production company, Thrown Overboard Media Co.

The building reopened to the public today after being closed for nine months for essential repair work following the discovery of wet rot in part of the building last November.

The project involved the removal and replacement of two main timbers in the oldest part of the 16th century Grade 1 listed building.

More than 30 specially invited guests including donors, volunteers and people who have worked on the project, were invited to a special open day to see the house returned to it’s former glory.

In excess of £25,000 has been raised through fundraising efforts and donations from people who have a special affiliation with Townend.

Jeremy Barlow, The National Trust’s General Manager for the central and east Lakes, said: “This is a case of a really well managed project. It set off on time and its delivered exactly what we needed it to do and secured the house for another 500 years.

"We are now open to the public in this condition, which is exactly the right time for visitors to see the house and to see the standard of conservation work that the Trust does everywhere we can.

“Replacing damaged sections of 400-year old solid oak beams has been no easy task I want to say a huge thank you to everyone that’s been involved in the project so far. We’re now looking forward to visitors being able to enjoy Townend again this summer.”

The rot was discovered during a routine inspection of the external lime render. On removing the render it was clear that two of the beams in the front façade were crumbling due to wet rot.

Over the last few months, Townend has been cloaked in scaffolding and held up by a metal support structure while builders peeled away layers of render to reveal stonework probably last seen in mid-Victorian times.