The King’s Observatory

DBR Leadwork

The King’s Observatory is a Grade I listed building of Portland stone located within the Old Deer Park of the former Richmond Palace.

Now a private dwelling, the building formerly housed an astronomical and terrestrial magnetic observatory founded by King George III, a keen amateur astronomer. It was built in 1769 by Sir William Chambers who also designed the Pagoda in nearby Kew Gardens. The building is in its original state apart from the raising of the side roofs to the level of the observing dome, which happened in 1888 and 1892.

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DBR Leadwork worked with Donald Insall Architects on the roof of the Observatory in 2016. They were responsible for removing all the existing lead, which was nearly one hundred years old and failing.  The carpentry team then carried out sympathetic repairs and alternations to the existing timber substrate and top boarding to ensure the roof satisfied current regulations. New Code 6, 7 and 8 milled lead sheets were then laid with traditional wood roll and welted seamed joints.

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