Regilding The Painted Hall's Compass

Christopher Wren’s King William Block and the Queen Mary Block in Greenwich are set back from the riverside, linked by colonnades and crowned with domed towers.

This World Heritage Site at ORNC is a high profile tourism attraction and this requires a carefully managed site taking into account the general public in close proximity to our works and the business activities of Trinity Conservatoire and Greenwich University. Regilding The Painted Hall’s Compass was necessary for the survival and appearance of this heritage asset.

Each tower has a gilded “face”- Queen Mary’s for a clock to mark the hours, and King William’s for a compass with markers linked to a weather vane at the apex.


In the autumn of 2016, DBR Conservation fully restored the King William compass face featured on the dome above the Painted Hall. The compass face’s crumbling surface was first stabilised, filled and sanded. The directional elements and compass hand were gilded in two layers of superior 24 carat gold. The background was then treated with a rich dark charcoal masonry paint.

Take a look at this project on Instagram.

More projects by DBR Conservation teams can be found <a href="”> here.

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