Warrington Golden Gates Conservation Project

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Application Type

AABC Conservation

Level of Award

Highly Commended

Region

North West

Local Authority Area

Warrington

Information about this scheme

The brief, which guided the overall design approach, was to sensitively restore and conserve the historic fabric of the structure, with new work discernible from the original only to the expert.

Having identified the need for repairs, with issues including corrosion and cracking of the iron work, loss of decorative detail and peeling paint and gilding, Warrington Borough Council began work with Ramboll, in collaboration with Hall Conservation Ltd. Following a tender process, and consultation with the Victorian Society and Historic England, works began. This included Inspection and recording, dismantling of elements, repairs to the cast iron and wrought iron gates, investigation of the foundations and holding down details of the gates by trial pits, archaeological services connected with excavations, repairs to the adjacent cast iron railings and masonry dwarf walls, alterations and repairs to the surface finishes adjacent to the gates, erecting a temporary frieze and traffic/pedestrian management.

Russell Geomatics carried out a 3D laser scan survey, and created a sub millimetre high-resolution digital model of the gates. The gates were then carefully dismantled and the footings to the gate posts exposed, with an archaeologist employed to oversee. The gate components, totalling over 700 once dismantled, were transported to HCL’s workshops in London.

Examples of the individual components of the gates were laser scanned at high resolution and fully inspected. They were then repaired and repainted. Some elements beyond repair were re-created using 3D printing to form plastic replicas, to create moulds at the foundry, allowing casting of new components. Some complex components were replicated directly from the laser scan data by additive manufacturing and were printed in aluminium.

The gates were reconstructed on site, with final painting and gilding. The completion of the project was to great acclaim and generated a huge amount of community spirit, and is a wholly successful Local Authority achievement.

Credits

Local Authority

Warrington Borough Council

Local Authority

Warrington Borough Council

Main Contractor

Ramboll

Conservator

Hall Conservation Ltd

Primary Use Class

Class E1 - Public Realm