The Great Hall of Westminster is best known for its incredible hammerbeam roof, which has been called “the greatest creation of medieval timber architecture.” This section is the oldest existing part of the Palace completed in 1099
It was commissioned by King Richard II in the late 14th century. The hall 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.
DBR Conservation worked on the delicate conservation at Westminster Hall to 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.
DBR London carried out the conservation of the internal joinery surfaces of the hammer beam roof and angels. The work also included the dismantling and reconstruction of the Fleche timber structure after the careful removal of the lead coverings. DBR Leadwork reconstructed the sand cast lead coverings with recast salvaged lead recovering and repair of the cast lead crockets. Therefore, this was a collaborative effort between many DBR divisions.
To read the DBR Conservation Report on the medieval carving of the “Money Changer,” please click here.
More projects by DBR Conservation teams can be found
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