Scaffolding cloaks Lindisfarne Castle
Restoration works on the iconic Lindisfarne Castle are now underway. The Grade I listed building is closed until April 2018 for a Â£3 million conservation project.
The extensive works will address penetrating damp issues and restore the stonework, pointing and windows.
The scaffolding that has been put up is already an impressive sight but from March 20, work is due to start on a temporary roof on the scaffold, allowing repairs to the castle roof.
House steward Nick Lewis, writing in the Island newsletter, said: “St Astier - the stone masons - have been working on the mainly on the lower floor recently and have completed stripping out and raking joints in the walls.
“They have also prepared samples of the finish in the Ship Room passage along with packing and pinning voids in the wall and sneck-pointing the surface (thick mortar joins with only the tips of stones showing through).
“The painters have been removing old imporous paints from walls. In some areas they have been able to uncover stones covered over under layers of paint which really were meant to be seen; such as large lintels above fireplaces, window margins, and quoin stones around doorways.
“The glaziers have also been to the castle to remove windows for the first phase of refurbishment (i.e. those accessible from the batteries or the scaffold).
“As part of this refurbishment there will also be installation of new opening windows which should help with ventilation in the future.
“While all this work is going on indoors the electricians are laying cables to replace older fittings as well as chases to new sockets, spurs and light fittings.
“In the past we have had surface mounted cable on the floors which have been pointed in to the skirting (Ship Room and Dining Room especially); this pointing is regularly damaged by visitors feet so bright orange cabling often greeted visitors below the windows.
“These cables are now under the floor, with the stone flags and bricks having been carefully lifted and replaced, revealing some nice Lutyens-period numbering in the process.
“This also revealed an old Victorian drain - complete with bird bones - under the dining room floor; which we knew was there from plans but no-one would have seen it for well over a century.
“The scaffolding on the south and east sides of the Castle are now signed off and so are usable by the contractors, although until the weather improves the main use will be removing materials down the south side in the hoist, which can manage 300kg at a time. External work to the walls will start soon though, as soon as the internals are completed fully.
“The north side scaffold is something else entirely; the gentler north slope requires a far bigger construction than that which towers over the steeper south slope. Judging by what has gone up already it is easy to see just how massive it will be when complete.”