Westminster Hall

DBR Conservation

The Great Hall of Westminster, the oldest existing part of the Palace completed in 1099, is best known for its incredible hammerbeam roof, which has been called “the greatest creation of medieval timber architecture.”

It was commissioned by King Richard II in the late 14th century and it covered a hall of unprecedented size. Richard II adorned the hall with new stone carvings – bosses, corbels and label stops – many of which represent his heraldic emblems: a white hart recumbent engorged and lion statant guardant.

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DBR Conservation worked on the delicate conservation work of these carvings in Reigate or magnesium limestone, many of which were severely decayed. The conservation included photographic documentation, dry cleaning, consolidation with nanolimes and pigmented dispersed hydrated limes, sensitive mortar repairs, ammonium carbonate poulticing, and variegated shelter coating.

Remains of historic coatings, paint and even gilding were found on some of the medieval carvings, so discrete sampling and microscopy were used to identify pigments and binders.

To read the DBR Conservation Report on the medieval carving of the “Money Changer,” please click here.

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