Palace of Westminster - Court Yard Conservation, London

Palace of Westminster - Court Yard Conservation, London

London United Kingdom Palace of Westminster, Court Yard Clean Galena United Kingdom

The "New Palace of Westminster” was constructed between 1843 and 1860 to designs by Charles Barry with the support of Augustus Pugin. The inner courtyards of the palace were an integral part of the design, clad in ashlar and finished with Gothic ornaments similar to those on the external elevations. Cloister Court includes the surviving cloister of the College of St Stephen’s, founded by Edward III in 1348. The Courtyards Conservation Project included the cleaning and careful repair of the stonework, with the aim of restoring the architectural integrity of the inner courtyards by reviving lost features and cleaning and repairing damaged elements.

Reference identification data
Construction project:
Facade restoration Facade restoration / natural stone
Building type:
Historically protected / historically valuable buildings
Other buildings
Office and administration buildings
Short description
The first phase of the project to renovate the inner courtyards involved cleaning and repairing masonry in the courtrooms used by chancellors and government officials in the House of Lords. Special cleaning methods were required for the windows of the Royal Gallery. Temporary protection and vibration monitoring were necessary in order to eliminate any risk of damage to the wall painting “The Death of Nelson” by Irish artist Daniel Maclise, as well as ensuring that the House of Lords could continue with its sittings uninterrupted. Remmers Clean Galena was the perfect solution because it can be applied and removed by hand without the need for machinery or pressurised water.
Parliamentary Estate Directorate
Donald Insall Associates
DBR London Ltd
Site address:
Date / completion:
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Further references

The structure showed cracks in some places, for which there were different causes. Improved statics and higher load capacity were achieved by stiffening the structures, frictional connection of the disturbed foundation and decoupling the components gate, passage hall and gate houses components. Particularly on the western side, intense blackening of the rock surface had built up, which was strongly interlocked with the ground. The deposits were composed of a mixture of soot and plaster. The cleaning process carried out in 1990 with the help of water could only result in a superficial cleaning. In 2002, the newly developed method of particle beam cleaning and cleaning by laser made it possible to remove soot and plaster without destroying the original surface.
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On the façade surfaces of Kaispeicher A, there was a lot of efflorescence and lime aging, both signs of penetrating moisture. The damage patterns indicated a lack of frost resistance as well as no protection against driving rain. The listed façade required extensive frost and moisture protection, but was not allowed to undergo any visual changes.
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