Testimonials

oak framed


Jean and Phil –  Selby, Yorkshire

This time last year building an oak framed house seemed nothing more than a pipe dream, until we came across Rob and ‘Castle Ring Oak’. We were totally inspired by the oak framed house that Rob had built for himself and for his passion and knowledge. From initial idea discussions and design to final product we have been guided, advised and kept informed the whole way through. To be able to visit the workshop during manufacture of our frame was a fantastic experience.

Rob is such a pleasure to deal with and the ‘raising of the oak frame’ is a time we will never forget. Rob, Jake and Sam felt like they became part of our family for those few days and we thoroughly enjoyed their company. For all of us, husband and boyfriends alike to be allowed to be actively ‘hands on’ in the creating of the heart of our new home is something we will always remember. Once the frame was up I commented to my daughter ‘ we don’t need to put any pictures or paintings on the walls because the oak frame is the art’. This is so true – what Rob and Castle Ring Oak create are true works of art and craftsmanship.

We are still smiling in Yorkshire and we could write a book with the comments of admiration from everyone that has seen it.


Andy and Sue Neat – Carlisle

When we started looking for a company to supply and erect the oak frame for our new build we spoke to a number of people before coming across Rob at Castle Ring and it’s true to say that we made the decision to appoint them almost immediately. Rob is instantly likeable and his calm assured manner appealed to us straight away.

We visited Rob and Alithea’s beautiful oak framed home that he built himself and this confirmed to us that we had made the right choice. We loved the way the construction followed the natural grain and shape of the oak and Rob’s enthusiasm for his craft shone through. It was also important to us that the oak used for our project was from a sustainable source which is the case with all the oak that Castle Ring use.

Once we had appointed Rob the whole process was smooth and enjoyable and the approach of raising day was reflected by our growing excitement for what was always going to be the most enjoyable part of the build. We weren’t disappointed. The raising went as smoothly as the rest of the process and being able spend three days helping Rob, Jake and Sylvan put up our oak frame was an unforgettable experience. The end result is a beautiful piece of craftsmanship which we will always appreciate and which will enhance the enjoyment of living in our new house.

If you are looking for someone to design and construct an oak frame house or building our advice is look no further.


Abby and Richard Anderson – High Ongar, Essex

We first came across Rob and Castle Ring Oak Frame in 2012 when looking for some new oak gates for the front of our home. Rob was incredibly knowledgeable and flexible and helped us design a set of gates which were precisely what we wanted. When it came to commissioning a new Green Oak frame to extend our mid 18th Century set of millers cottages we naturally turned to Rob.
We were keen to get a hand crafted bespoke solution which was complimentary to the old cottage. Rob did an amazing job of including us in all of the decisions which would ultimately affect both the function of the spaces and the feel of home. Rob worked with the oak in a very sympathetic manner meaning we have some beautiful shapes and forms which are fitted together perfectly while being each unique and very natural.
I would highly recommend Castle Ring Oak Frame to anyone considering such a frame. The process from engagement through design, crafting and erection has been smooth and stress free. Having done this once both my wife and I are in agreement it is something we would love to do again and when we do we will definitely be calling Rob to get him involved.


Ian and Ceri, Douglas fir extension – Lloyney, Powys

We met Rob a few years ago and have seen first hand the quality of his work on several frames. So when it came to building an extension ourselves, we naturally turned to Rob to find out what he could do for us. We have not been disappointed for many reasons.

Rob has produced another fantastic green timber frame that went up smoothly and efficiently.
Furthermore, through his network of local contacts the embodied energy of the frame has been kept to a minimum. The Douglas Fir was felled by a neighbour of ours in January on a local estate, milled in February a short distance away, created at Rob’s workshop in March and then erected in April – the total distance traveled will have been not much more than 50 miles.

We are delighted with this beautiful addition to our home and feel it complements the existing building perfectly. We have encased the frame in 300mm of hempcrete (solid breathable wall and insulation combined, pretty much carbon neutral), exposing the frame internally so we can enjoy it whilst rendering the outside to match the existing stone cottage.
We would highly recommend Rob for his high quality craftsmanship, combined with a relaxed yet professional approach to produce exactly what we wanted.


Mick and Alice, Affordable eco home – Knighton, Powys

Our whole framing experience with Castle Ring was a thoroughly positive one from start to finish; from initial discussions of vague possibilities, on through the design stages, and right to the final peg in the final hole.

The advantages of using Castle Ring soon became apparent. One of Robs skills is his ability to listen, which then made us feel like we were getting what we wanted, not what he wanted to offer us…he always suggested, never proposed an idea. Communication channels were constantly open and he was happy for us to view the frames progress whenever we wanted. On site for the frame build Robs qualities shone through again; working quickly, quietly and completely in control of the situation…very ably supported by his team. It was a very special day for us seeing the frame rise before us, and even Rob’s ability to recognise that in itself meant a lot.

Rob has provided us with a hand made frame of breathtaking quality and beauty in a totally personal yet supremely professional way which was, in short, exactly what we wanted.


Charlotte Hollins, Oak canopy – Market Drayton, Shropshire

We are extremely pleased with the oak frame installed at Fordhall Organic Farm by Castle Ring Oak Frame. The craftmanship is staggering, not a nail or screw used. The oak canopy really sets our building apart from the rest – truly beautiful. Thank you.


Cezz and Richard Williams, Half timbered extension – Bromyard, Herefordshire

Visiting Rob at his home was the selling point for us. The fact that he had built his own oak frame house from start to finish gave us a great deal of confidence. Although we only wanted Rob to do the frame he understood all aspects of the build, and how getting the frame right at the start was a key factor to the finished look of the house.

A week into the build we went to have a look. What we saw was for us, one of the best parts of the build. We walked into Rob’s workshop to see the complete gable end of our house laid out in front of us. This just confirmed we had selected the right man for the job. The quality of the workmanship was very impressive and it made the project feel very real.

Six weeks later the frame was on site ready for erection. This could not have gone better. By 5 o’clock we were standing back looking at our finished frame enjoying a cold beer.

Working with Rob was a real pleasure, he understood that we didn’t have an endless budget but still wanted a first class job. He also appreciated we wanted to be as ‘hands on’ as possible and accommodated to suit. Nothing was ever a problem only a challenge. Rob’s enthusiasm is extremely infectious. We love our new home not just because of what we have but also for the way we have got here and the new friends we have made on the way.

Thank you


Dr and Mrs Martin Toms, Lofted two bay garage – Bromyard, Herefordshire

After getting a lot of quotes for building a new two bay garage (with loft space), we were lucky enough to meet Rob after a neighbour had used him for a timber framed building project. We were impressed with what he had done there, and having visited his own amazing home near Presteigne, we engaged Rob’s services and were lucky enough to be able to see the whole project come together. Rob’s planning and attention to detail were excellent – a true craftsman down to the nuances of each joist and piece of oak. The whole build was great, traditional pegging and jointing, wood lapping and door were expertly put together on an individual basis.

Rob and a builder friend did everything, so it really was planned, drawn up, measured, cut and built by the same hand…….even the external staircase was meticulously thought through. A great personalised piece of work.

Needless to say we are very happy with it and would endorse Rob’s work to anyone interested in a timber framed building. Just see his own award winning home to see the quality of work you’ll receive.


Jamie and Kate Ritchie, Extension – Knighton, Powys

I’m glad we used Castle Ring for our oak framed extension. Rob had plenty of ideas and helpful suggestions, and consulted us about every detail including ways of keeping costs down. It was particularly good to be invited to his workshop to see him cut the frame and all its joints.

On the day the frame was erected, Rob had everything organised. He arrived with two trailer loads of assorted oak beams and a friendly competent team who worked tirelessly. Rob seemed to have every eventuality under control and it went up in a day without a hitch. It was a wonderful and memorable day.

Most importantly we now have a lovely, unique and beautifully crafted oak frame. The experience of having it made and erected was most enjoyable and adds to my love of it.

Thank you Rob!


Donald and Sarah McIntyre, Oak frame extension – Broadford, Herefordshire

When we walked into Rob’s workshop and first laid eyes on our oak frame we were very excited, and then to have it put up in one day – we couldn’t have been more impressed! The oak members were precision made and the pegs, joints, curved bracing and carpenter’s marks give the frame a really warm traditional feel.

We collaborated with Rob throughout the design and fabrication process and his skill and experience ensured we got exactly the traditional oak frame we wanted. The overall effect is a distinctive and superbly crafted oak frame sitting harmoniously in its surroundings.

Thank you Castle Ring!


Catherine and Robert Humphreys, Oak Frame Rebuild – Chapel Lawn, Shropshire

We planned to develop a barn next to our house which would need reconstructing. We had surveyor’s basic plans, but wanted ideas on how to make a special structure which would be a sympathetic addition to a very old house in a beautiful setting.

We went to a large well known, but locally based timber frame specialist. We gave them the surveyor’s plans and explained what we wanted from them. They very confidently assured us they could create what we needed. Following a down payment they returned the surveyors plans virtually unaltered and when we repeated our request did so again! They then became aggressive.

How lucky we were at this point of despair to be told of Rob Dawson’s work.

Right from the first contact we realised he was the person we needed. Here was someone with artistic ideas, wonderful skills and an innate connection with the materials and, following our previous bruising encounter, was professional and courteous.

Here we are now in our wonderful barn, standing in it lifts the spirit skywards, holds the attention to the natural material and surrounds us with support and comfort, just all qualities derived from its maker. Many thanks Rob.


Peter Wright, Oak balcony – Presteigne, Powys

This beautiful oak deck was built by Rob and erected at a difficult site, in a day by his team, in the middle of some of the worst weather this winter. Rob interfaced directly with the ground works contractor, and as a result the whole thing went smoothly and it was a pleasure to work with him on the project. The end result is exactly what I wanted, and it has a wonderful solid feel about it.

Now for the next oak-frame project!


Ian and Maria, New barn extension – Montgomery, Powys

We approached Rob for a quotation to build us a frame according to plans we inherited when we bought our oak framed barn. We approached several frame builders, two of which are very well known. Ideally we wanted something in oak to be sympathetic with the cruck frame of our home. We wanted something bespoke, affordable and with a consideration for any future conversion plans. Rob’s design ideas exceeded our expectations. His quotation was very reasonable but just as important as cost, he was very professional to deal with. We trusted him. and he fully repaid that trust.

After a difficult, wet and expensive operation to construct stepped foundations ready for the frame, Rob and his team turned up as arranged on probably the driest day of the day of the year and immediately began the remarkably well organised task of raising the frame. At the end of the day we had a fully erect oak frame and our faith in British workmanship was fully restored. It was a day never to forget. Eleven and half cubic meters of oak fashioned into a frame 14 meters long complete with pegged joints, wind braces, and exposed rafters with bridal joints and not one mistake. Very Impressive.

We cannot recommend Castle Ring Oak Frames highly enough.


Mark and Rita, Oak sunroom – Llanfairwaterdine, Ledbury

Having got lost, we stopped at a house to ask the way and happened upon the installation of one of Rob’s oak frames. We were so taken by it that we immediately asked him to come round and quote for one for us.

The resultant conservatory on the footprint of an old lean-to is a thing of beauty to behold and looks like it has always been there. It has transformed the space into our most used living room and is a real wow factor for visitors.


Nigel Allam, Restoration of listed granary – Ledbury, Herefordshire

From the moment Rob came to spec the job, which was unusual in itself due to the complexity of it being a partial rebuild, his enthusiasm, optimism and professionalism shone through and proved to be infectious.

The time spent measuring and checking and discussing ideas proved to be time well spent, as when he returned with the work force for the assembly and construction, the entire project came together before my eyes exactly as he had described it to me a month or two earlier.

I would recommend Rob to anyone for this type of work, as he delivers what he says he will with skill, reliability and punctuality.


Janet and Andrew Lewis, Conservatory – Llanfair Waterdine, Shropshire

We stumbled across Rob at Castle Ring Oak Frame by chance while looking for another oak framer. He immediately gained brownie points by being a lot more local to us than the other two much bigger companies we were looking at. But initially we were a bit doubtful as to whether he could do what we wanted, being a much smaller operation. This turned out to be a totally unfounded concern as from the very beginning it was clear that he was an excellent choice….he invited us to see what he had done on his own house where his skill and flair are obvious.

He was very helpful with practical suggestions to tweak our own ideas, was very clear about prices, time frame, and what could and could not be done. No teeth sucking just a very cheerful and professional approach. When it came to the erection of the frame it was poetry in motion! Very fast, smooth and such a joy to see such an ancient craft still being relevant in the 21st century. We can’t recommend him highly enough and will definitely use him again.


Carole and Serena Miller, Oak frame rebuild – Bewdley, Worcestershire

Just a quick note to say thank you. What a wonderful job you have done on the barn! Mum sent me pics and I am amazed at the workmanship and skill that has gone into it. I am so so so pleased that I trusted my instinct and went with you for the job. You have been really good to Mum too and she is over the moon with your work.