A big building project such as Attingham Re-discoverd Goes Through the Roof is never easy and it is made even more complicated when happening at the centre of a Grade I listed Mansion. With every step and development we have to be extra sure that we are protecting the historic fabric around us as we go.
Whilst the work is going on to install the new secondary roof above the Picture Gallery we have had to think carefully about how to protect the important historic fabric below. We need to ensure that if anything did go wrong there would be no damage to the cast iron and glass roof we are working to conserve, or to a person of course! Over the next few weeks the Norman and Underwood team of contractors will be putting protection in place. This will mean effectively boxing-in the Regency roof with wood to protect it against any possible damage.
Physically working on this project is extra challenging because the Picture Gallery is at the centre of the Mansion and so access to its roof is difficult at the best of times. The space is enclosed on all four sides by other parts of the building and the 1970s roof inserted by the National Trust makes access to the Regency roof even harder. This week the team of contractors have had to use a different way of getting materials to where they needed to be, without bringing it all through the historically sensitive interiors of the Mansion.
To get the materials into the Mansion therefore we had to be a little creative! This meant putting a tower scaffold on one half of the portico and bringing everything in through a first floor window.
Once the materials were inside the Mansion they then had to be taken through one of the First Floor rooms, out the other side and through another window before being used to protect the Nash Roof.
John Nash’s cast iron and glass creation which has allowed light into the Picture Gallery for over 200 years will now be boxed-in over the next few weeks so that it will not be damaged during the works above it. A section of it will be covered in perspex rather than wood so that visitors can still see the innovative structure which is being protected. Visitors on our Roof Tours over the next few weeks will get the opportunity to see this work as it goes on, so come along and have a look for yourself as we protect the cast iron roof.