The Well photo and logo

This page shows the work involved in demolishing our old conservatory and replacing it with our lovely new Coffee Shop.

On completion of the work we were delighted to welcome Professor Michael Wood to conduct our official reopening.

Read the whole story below.

Official Reopening of The Well by Prof Michael Wood on 1st October 2016

Professor Michael Wood, author and presenter of the BBC television series The Story of England, made a return to
Kibworth on 1st October 2016 to officially reopen The Well’s Coffee Shop after extensive rebuilding

Anne Flower, Chair of Trustees of The Well, presented Michael with a photobook chronicling the build

Michael was also presented with a painting by Robert Lodge of a snow scene of Kibworth Square in 1902

Councillor Michael Rickman from Harborough District Council with Michael Wood.  Harborough District Council
provided a grant via their New Homes Bonus Scheme to assist with The Well's redevelopment

Michael Wood and Peter Hayes, Treasurer of The Well, study the photobook

Michael Wood cutting the cake

The painting by Robert Lodge

The Brian Humperson Jazz Trio provided background music

Redevelopment of The Well's Coffee Shop

The garden

The garden

The kitchen area

The completed Coffee Shop

The completed Coffee Shop

Open at last!!  Wednesday 1st June 2016.

Open at last!!  Wednesday 1st June 2016.

Open at last!!  Wednesday 1st June 2016.

Open at last!!  Wednesday 1st June 2016.

Week 12, Day 5 - The patio is now laid, and the decorator has just about finished painting the inside walls of the new areas
 - they are nice bright white.  The rendering on the extension has also been done in white.

Week 11, Day 5 - the building work is just about finished now.... but there are still appliances to install in the kitchen,
decoration to be done, flooring to be laid, and the paving slabs to be laid in the patio area.  And lots of little 'finishing-off'
jobs!  Then the big clean-up starts as we prepare for reopening, the date for which we hope to announce soon.

Week 11, Day 3 - Jamie taking a breather, and looking forward to finishing the job!

Week 11, Day 3 - it's looking good!

Week 11, Day 3 - The first coat of render has gone on the outside and the patio is being laid

Week 10, Day 4 - Can you guess how it's going to look when it's finished?

Week 10, Day 2 - there has been lots going on but its not been very photogenic!  More plastering, plumbing and
electrical work has been done and the kitchen has now arrived.  It really does feel like we are getting close to the end
now, though it's too early to fix a date for re-opening.

Week 9, Day 3 - the floor is now ready for covering

Week 9, Day 3 - paving up to the new rear door (which is approximately 1 metre left of where the previous door was)

Week 9, Day 3 - paving round the side

Week 9, Day 1 - more of the paving has been laid

Week 8, Day 5 - the patio area has been raised and levelled, with hardcore put down ready for the paving slabs to be

Week 8, Day 5 - There hasn't been a great deal to see this week, though the internal plastering is pretty much finished,
and other detail work has been done inside.  Outside there has been more visible progress with the first of the new
paving slabs having been laid.

Week 7, Day 4 - the walls and ceiling are now plasterboarded ready for plastering

Week 7, Day 3 - the garden is being cleared and we can begin to see the space for the new patio

Week 7, Day 3 - the preparation work for the new kitchen is moving on, with the electrics in place.  The ceiling is being
boarded too.

Week 7, Day 3 - the old kitchen hatch has been blocked off to create the new kitchen

Week 7, Day 1 - the rooflights have been fitted and natural light has been restored to the extension

Week 7, Day 1 - the shed has gone

Week 6, Day 4 - looking from the front to the rear.  On the right you can see the new doorway into the toilet (in what was
previously the kitchen)

Week 6, Day 4 - a view from the cafe area through to the front

Week 6, Day 23 - we have doors and a window - it's all taking shape now! The frames are actually dark grey - the white
is just a protective coating

Week 6, Day 3 - with the old toilet almost completely gone we can get a better feel for the internal space, and how
much it has been opened up!  The roof has now been surfaced.

Week 6, Day 2 - the wall knocked through and a new steel lintel put in to support the back wall of the main building.
The toilet can then be knocked down to open up the view through from the front of the building to the cafe area.

Week 6, Day 1 - with the scaffolding down we can at last get a better view of how the cafe extension will look

Week 6, Day 1 - the roof boarded over and ready for the surface to be laid in a couple of days.

Week 5, Day 5 - the roof boards are almost all on.  Next week should see the old toilet being knocked down to break
through into the main building.

Week 5, Day 4 - the roof joists are in place today

Week 5, Day 4 - the wall gets higher......  but that's the top now!

Week 5, Day 2 - Our Chair Anne Flower came to inspect the progress today - you can now see that the lintels above the
door and window are now in place.

Week 5, Day 1 - scaffolding up and a bit more height on the walls.  Waiting for delivery of the lintels for the window
and door tomorrow to allow completion of the front wall.

Week 4, Day 5 - on-target at the end of Week 4 despite the appalling weather mid-week, with the interior and exterior
blockwork walls nearly done. Scaffolding to go up on Monday and Dan reckons the roof should be on by the end of next

Week 4, Day 4 - pretty much rained off yesterday, but the outer skin has been going up and the insulation fitted

Week 4, Day 3 - Dan's enjoying a short break after his efforts today - the weather forecast for tomorrow doesn't look
good so it may be Thursday (Day 19) before we see much more progress.

Week 4, Day 3 - another good day's work today

Week 4, Day 1 - The old rear door has been blocked up too

Week 4, Day 1 - the start of the fourth week and a bit of dry weather sees the blockwork flying up

Week 3, Day 4 - a general view of the site

Week 3, Day 4 - that's a lot of blocks to be shifted by hand!

Week 3, Day 4 - there's not been a lot to see this week as the weather has hampered progress, but today there was a big
delivery of blocks.  It was fascinating to watch the delicacy with which the operator could manouvre the telescopic
arm on the lorry.

Week 3, Day 1 - the floor slab was poured on Day 10 (Friday of the second week) and today (Monday of the 3rd week)
it's all solid

Week 2, Day 4 - the base of the walls taking shape and the floor being prepared for cement tomorrow

Week 2, Day 2 - the blockwork being laid

Week 2, Day 2 - concrete lintels to cover 'the hole'

Week 2, Day 1 - old drain being dug out and re-laid

Week 1, Day 5 - the end of the first week and foundations poured.  By the end of next week we should be seeing the
finished so that Jamie can start above ground.

Week 1, Day 4 - the big hole filled, and footings being dug

Week 1, Day 4 - more footings

Week 1, Day 3 - Our builder Jamie Witcombe of J T Witcombe Building Contractors found a bit of a problem outside the
back door.  As the old joke goes, Jamie and Trustee Peter Hayes are "looking into it"!

It turns out this void, full of rather smelly water, extends across the back of the building under the conservatory floor and
is roughly 6 feet by 9 feet, and 6 feet deep!

It would have been nice to be able to say that we had found the actual 'well' to match our name, but we don't think that
water is drinkable!

Week 1, Day 2 - unable to get their regular 'fix' at The Well, some of the volunteers got together for a natter at the Kibworth
Antiques Centre

Week 1, Day 1 - amazing what can be done in a few hours......

The Well closed on Friday 12 February ready for works to commence!

The cafe has been cleared ready for works to start.  Many thanks to everyone who turned up to help.

The kitchen cleared too (almost)

All the shops goods put away and the shop now being used for storage

The flower bed cleared ready for action!

Jenny and Mervyn at their penultimate shift in the old kitchen!

Just one of the reasons for needing the new extension!


While Sarah Collins, the previous Manager, and the team of volunteers worked hard to keep the old cafe a welcoming place for people to meet and enjoy their food and drink, the fabric of the conservatory was not really up to the job.

Due to the methods of construction the cafe was hard to keep warm, the roof let in water in heavy rain, and the brickwork was poorly insulated allowing in damp.

With this in mind, in 2014 the Trustees started thinking about the options for revitalising the premises and during 2015 worked hard to bring together plans for the development and to raise the necessary funds.

In conjunction with our architect Will Aust of Will Aust Architecture we devised, and gained planning permission for, a new brick-built extension to replace the conservatory.

The contributions and donations from our many supporters were very much appreciated.  Also many thanks to Harborough District Council for their grant under the New Homes Bonus scheme, which gave us a major boost.

With the grant in place we could move from dreaming to implementation and are working on the detailed brief for our builders, so that we can make sure that the new building offers everything we need.

Our Plans

The building was designed to:-

  • be wider and deeper than the existing conservatory
  • re-site the kitchen to the left-hand side of the building (looking towards the rear)
  • re-site the customer toilet to the existing kitchen area
  • provide a more open layout and visibility through the building to the garden
  • offer a better kitchen facilities and serving area
  • provide more seating in the cafe area and at the front part of the building