Work to restore Warrington Golden Gates begins

8 October 2018
The iconic cast iron gates, created in 1862 for the International Exhibition, are taken away for extensive restoration work under the expert supervision of Ramboll’s specialist heritage team 
Warrington Golden Gates immediately prior to removal for restoration

Warrington Golden Gates immediately prior to removal for restoration

Contact

Fay Newham. Ramboll

Fay Newham

Project Associate
Gary Willis. Ramboll

Gary Willis

Director
T: +44 7918 767 180

The Golden Gates restoration project will see the Grade II listed gates restored to their former glory. The previous refurbishment – carried out in 1978/9 – has lasted for nearly 40 years. However, the urban location and proximity to a marine climate, means the gates are now showing signs of deterioration, which is when Warrington Borough Council contacted Ramboll.

Following a series of surveys, we highlighted significant issues including corrosion and cracking of the iron work, loss of decorative detail, defects to supporting brickwork, peeling paint and gilding. Warrington Borough Council worked with us to identify the right conservators to carry out such a specialist restoration. Following a competitive tender process Hall Conservation Limited - one of the UK’s leading conservation firms – was selected as the contractor to carry out the works.

The gates will now be carefully dismantled and the footings to the gate posts exposed, with an archaeologist employed under a watching and advising brief. Hall Conservation will then carry out the following work, starting this month.

  • Inspect the remaining cast-iron components and agree the scope of repairs
  • Clean off existing paint by hand and remove all debris
  • Laser scan typical components
  • Carry out on-site repairs

When dismantled, the gates will be transported to the workshop, where they will be fully inspected in conjunction with Ramboll, repaired and repainted, before they are returned to Warrington to be reconstructed on site, in early 2019.

Warrington Borough Council’s executive board member for culture and partnerships, Cllr Dan Price, said: “The golden gates are an iconic symbol of Warrington. They are truly unique, with none others like them in the world. It’s vital that we protect this key part of our cultural heritage – and that’s why this work is so important.

“We are taking a conservation-based approach to ensure that the proposed work complies with national and local planning policy as well as nationally recognised conservation guidance. This ensures that not only will the work not harm the gates but that it will preserve and enhance them, ensuring them many more years as a much-loved symbol of Warrington’s civic pride.”

Fay Newham, Associate at Ramboll, said: “We are delighted to be involved in the repair of this unique structure, which clearly means so much to Warrington.

“As well as aiming for a high standard of conservation repair, our objective is to leave a full and detailed record for the next generation, including how the individual parts are connected. Where parts are missing and must be replaced, we will ensure they are replaced in traditional materials, to match the existing. We will be using all techniques available to us, such as 3D laser scanning, photography and video, to record the components and the process of repair.”

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