Restoration of Southampton's iconic Bargate to begin next month
Described by the renowned architectural historian Sir Nikolaus Pevsner as the probably the finest town gateway in Britain, Southampton's iconic Bargate is to undergo significant restoration works beginning in mid-March.
Southampton City Council have appointed West Sussex-based Chichester Stoneworks to complete the work, which are estimated to take around 20 weeks, ending in July 2016 (weather permitting).
Chichester Stoneworks' team have extensive experience in working with Scheduled Ancient Monuments, and have previously supplied and installed restoration stonework on a range of prestigious projects including The Royal Palaces, The Quadrangle at Buckingham Palace and many more in the City of London.
The 800 year old Bargate is currently suffering from water ingress on the battlemented parapet, which is then passing down inside the thick stone walls dissolving the ancient lime mortar. This has been caused by the use of Portland cement mortar in the early 20th century when the parapet was rebuilt.
Portland cement was also used on the front face of the building in the 1930s and this hard cement is trapping the water, causing the stones to decay. To remedy this, the parapet will be waterproofed and the old repointing will be cut out, with all work using lime mortar as in the original construction.
Once the building has dried out, the stone shields can then be repaired and repainted. Temporary shields will be fitted whilst this work is carried out, so the look of this historically important building is preserved.