Speakers celebrate conclusion of major Parliament roof restoration project
Work to restore Parliament’s exterior marked another major milestone last week as the final piece of metalwork – a newly-restored dormer window – was returned to the Victorian cast iron roof after almost 10 years. It brings to a close restoration work on what is thought to be the largest expanse of cast iron roofs in Europe.
The 26 individual cast iron-tiled roofs refurbished under this programme were originally installed by Charles Barry in the mid-1800s, and cover some of the most historic parts of the Palace of Westminster. Wear-and-tear meant the roofs were no longer watertight, causing damage to the fabric of the building.
In a project supervised by the Lords and Commons Speakers, tens of thousands of individual components were removed and transported to Shepley Engineers’ workshop in Chapeltown, Sheffield, for assessment and then restoration or replacement. Up to 90 per cent of the original components were restored and reinstalled, with new components cast to the original design if repairs were not feasible.
The scaffolding, which has covered much of the West Front of the Palace, has also been used to carry out other maintenance work, including removing redundant machinery from the roof voids and essential stonework repairs. Most of the scaffolding will be removed in the coming months, however, some of it will remain in place for further repairs.