Pepperpot House Birchgrove Topping Out Ceremony

On Thursday 1st February, Natta was delighted to join Birchgrove Life for a Topping Out Ceremony. The event celebrated the completion of the structural phase of the new Assisted Living Scheme in Godalming. Representatives from Natta Building Company and Birchgrove Life joined together to commemorate this significant milestone. Birchgrove invited residents from their reservation list for the assisted living retirement apartments to participate in the day. This provided them the opportunity to see the progression of the development, as well as meet other residents who will be moving into the future development.

To mark the start of the event, Natta Managing Director, John Whelan and Honor Barratt, Birchgrove Life Chief Executive gave welcome speeches. Both speeches gave information about the significance of the Topping Out Event as well as the crucial role each company had to play in the development of the project. Natta Build Director Andrew Scott, Project Manager Michael Collins and Project Coordinator Kasia Rovira were on hand throughout the event to share their enthusiasm about the site with guests. As part of the ceremony, John and Honor placed a ‘Topping Out’ Ceremonial Coping Stone on the roof.

John Whelan, Natta Managing Director commented: “Today, we celebrate all our achievements. It is a testament to the dedication and hard work of everyone involved. The Topping Out Ceremony is not just about completing the physical structure; it is about laying the foundation for this building for the wider community and its future. 

It marks the beginning of a new phase, where this Senior Living Home will soon become a hub of activity and progress to serve its new residents and Birchgrove’s staff. And we at Natta are delighted to be a part of its journey.”

Pepperpot House Collage

Natta Managing Director John Whelan and Birchgrove Chief Executive Honor Barratt placing the roof tile. 


Honor Barratt, Chief Executive, Birchgrove said: I’m hugely proud that Birchgrove is on the cusp of launching its fourth site, but I’m even more inspired by our wonderful residents-to-be who attended the topping out ceremony. They are so excited about this next chapter, and to see them and their families together, interacting and forging a new community, is the real milestone for us. We can’t wait for them to move in and to be able to call Pepperpot House home.

What is a Topping Out Ceremony

Traditionally, a Topping Out Ceremony aims to commemorate the construction of the highest point of a building. The ceremony is thought to date back to Egyptian times. However it is more commonly known as a Nordic tradition which was introduced by the Vikings. To appease the tree-dwelling spirits, people would place a tree on top of a building. These spirits were thought to have been displaced during the construction process. However, in modern construction, with the use of various materials, adherence to building regulations, and planning constraints, the practice of placing a tree has faded away.

Pepperpot House Collage Godalming


About Pepperpot House

Appointed as the Main Contractor, Team Natta is undertaking the full design and build of a new 52-unit Assisted Living Scheme for Birchgrove in Godalming Surrey. With views of the Surrey Hills, the existing listed Cowshed building, is undergoing conversion into 2 one-bedroom apartments. As well as this, the main building, constructed with traditional brick and blockwork, spans 4 floors. Communal facilities such as a wellness suite, restaurant, licensed bar and 24 hour concierge service will make up the main building. A landscaped roof terrace and courtyard with a lounge will also be a part of the building.

About Birchgrove Life

Birchgrove is creating a portfolio of high-quality retirement properties within and around the M25, offering contemporary apartments for rent in brand-new purpose-built facilities. Underlying Birchgrove’s business model is a belief that the current housing options for people over 65 exclude a large section of those who don’t want to manage another house purchase – and therefore assisted living for rent is the missing piece of the housing puzzle; not right for all, but perfect for some.