On the BBC

The BBC has published a gallery of our images showing the restoration of Tower Bridge on the BBC website.

Harris Digital Productions is recording the £4million restoration for the City of London, Corporation

As one of the world’s most iconic and internationally recognised landmarks, and arguably one of the most ambitious engineering projects of its age, the smart appearance and imposing grandeur of Tower Bridge resonates strongly with national pride.

scaffolding-on-tower-bridgeYou can follow the restoration of Tower Bridge on our project website at www.thetowerbridge.info

New balustrade and platform cage

New viewing platform
New viewing platform

On Saturday 11 October the streets around the Monument were closed for an exciting landmark event in the Monument restoration project. A massive 100 tonne crane winched a new balustrade and platform cage on to the viewing platform. The balustrade was lifted in two sections before workmen welded it together. The operation took five hours to complete.

The platform cage has been constructed of lightweight cable mesh, stretched over stainless steel tubes. It replaces the former iron bars which were installed in the 1950s. This installation is part of the £4.5 million project which also involves the cleaning and repair of the Monument’s stonework and the regilding of its famous golden orb.

View images of the balustrade and cage installation on the Monument website: www.themonument.info/diary/11102008.asp

Harris Digital Productions filmed and photographed the installation for the City of London.
Repairs to the Monument are carried out every hundred years, the last major work was undertaken in the 1880s. The current project has cost the City of London Corporation £4.5million.

Visitors who climb the 311 spiral steps to admire the view at the top will also be able to use state of the art telescopes which have been designed as part of the new balustrade. The curved stainless tubes of the structure contain the electrical cabling for the services on the viewing platform including CCTV cameras and lighting.

Built in 1671 to commemorate the Great Fire of London in 1666, the Monument is one of the City’s most outstanding landmarks. The Grade 1 listed building has been closed since July 2007 and is due to open in February 2009.

You can follow the restoration of the Monument on our dedicated website www.themonument.info

Tower Bridge

Ancient City Trust pays £4million for three-year-long Tower Bridge facelift

  • 22,000 litres of paint will be used on Tower Bridge
  • 44,000 man hours to complete the Tower Bridge job over a three- year period
  • Tower Bridge will retain its traditional blue and white colour dating back to 1894
  • 1,500 tonnes of expendable abrasive will be used to blast Tower Bridge back to its metal framework before repainting
  • 40,000 motorists and pedestrians cross Tower Bridge every day
  • Revolutionary new paint used will last for 25 years with a top – up every 12 years
  • Whole bridge sections will be encapsulated to catch old paintwork as it falls, protecting Thames river life

tower-bridge-london

An ancient City trust, Bridge House Estates, of which the City of London Corporation is the sole trustee, have started a £4million programme to revitalise Tower Bridge.
Follow the restoration of Tower Bridge on our dedicated website: www.thetowerbridge.info
As one of the world’s most iconic and internationally recognised landmarks, and arguably one of the most ambitious engineering projects of its age, the smart appearance and imposing grandeur of Tower Bridge resonates strongly with national pride.
The primary purpose of this trust was and still is to maintain all five City bridges (London, Tower, Southwark, Blackfriars and Millennium Bridges) at no cost to the taxpayer.
In order to complete the huge task of repainting Tower Bridge, a rolling programme will be implemented by expert industrial painting contractor Pyeroy, who were awarded the City of London contract to repaint the two bridges. The programme will see sections of the bridge, accounting for roughly 25% of the total structure each time, alternately shrouded in scaffolding over the next three years until the bridge is immaculately finished.
This section-by-section approach is essential so as not to disrupt road or river traffic too dramatically during the work. The bridge must be completely encapsulated in order to catch the old paintwork that must be blasted off the metal bridge framework before repainting can commence. The paint debris will be collected on a shelf below the bridge which is vacuumed up daily and disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.
Tower Bridge has stood over the River Thames in London since 1894 and is one of the most recognisable landmarks in the world. It is the bridge of London you tend to see in movies and on advertising literature for London. Tower Bridge is the only bridge on the Thames which can be raised.

  • The bridge was officially opened on 30 June 1894 by the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII, and his wife, Alexandra of Denmark.
  • Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge, its proximity to the Tower of London gives it its name.
  • It is 60 meters long with towers that rise to a height of 43 meters. Its middle section can be raised to permit large vessels to pass the Tower Bridge. Massive engines raise the bridge sections, which weigh about 1000 tonnes each, in just over a minute.
  • The Bridge used to be raised about 50 times a day, but nowadays it is only raised around 1000 times a year
  • Tower Bridge is still a busy and vital crossing of the Thames: it is crossed by over 40,000 people (motorists and pedestrians) every day

The restoration is being filmed and photographed by Harris Digital Productions, who have set up the website www.thetowerbridge.info to show work in progress and updated information about the project.

Victorian Fountain

St Lawrence Jewry FountainHarris Digital Productions is recording the restoration and rebuilding of the St Lawrence Jewry Memorial Fountain, which has not been seen by the public since the 1970s when it was dismantled into approximately 150 pieces and put into storage. The pieces of the nineteenth century drinking water fountain have now been transported to the specialist stonework and restoration contractor, Cathedral Works Organisation (CWO), which will carry out the work, under the supervision of Freeland Rees Roberts Architects.

A project website has been set up to provide an update on the progress of the works and also act as a City archival record of the works. It will feature pictures and short films of the various stages of the restoration and can be accessed at www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/stlawrencefountain

The majority of the conservation and restoration work is expected to be carried out offsite with the rebuilding onsite estimated to take another four months. The anticipated completion date is August 2010 when it will be relocated to the eastern end of Carter Lane Gardens at the south of St Paul’s Cathedral. The St Lawrence Jewry Memorial Fountain is part of Phase 2 of the Carter Lane Quarter Enhancement Project. The aim of these street scene improvement works is to greatly enhance the public realm of the Carter Lane Area and supporting and enhancing the pedestrian environment is key to the area’s future success.

Christine Cohen, Chairman of the Planning and Transportation Committee, City of London Corporation said:

“This is an excellent example of how the City of London Corporation is able to combine heritage with modern initiatives to provide amenities for City workers, residents and visitors. It is a beautiful fountain which will soon be restored to its former glory and be on public display once more.”

It is proposed to re-use a substantial portion of the original fountain stonework and supplement it with new matching carved stone where the original stone has been lost or damaged beyond repair. The original features, a bas relief of Moses striking the Rock and a stone bowl underneath, will be retained. In addition to this, a new modern drinking water fountain is proposed on the opposite side. The project is part of a wider sustainability initiative by the City of London Corporation which involves re-provision of drinking water in the City. The fountain is to be positioned on a new plinth with two steps to match the historical setting of the original fountain by St Lawrence Jewry Church.

The fountain was originally erected in 1866 outside the Church of St Lawrence Jewry near Guildhall as a gift to the City of London from the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association. It was designed by architect John Robinson and the bronze sculpture was carried out by the artist Joseph Durham. It was taken down in the 1970s during the redevelopment of Guildhall.

Temple Bar Gateway

Temple Bar has finally returned to the Square Mile. In the December meeting of the Court of Common Council in 2001, the City of London agreed to fund the return of Temple Bar to the Square Mile. At a cost of just over £3.0m – funded by the City of London along with donations from the Temple Bar Trust and several Livery Companies – the reconstruction of Temple Bar on a site next to St Paul’s Cathedral was completed in November 2004.

Harris Digital Productions filmed the 18 month project, which clocked up over 130 hours of video footage.

 

temple-bar-london

You can watch a preview of our forthcoming production on the Temple Bar Gateway website.

Visit www.thetemplebar.info for further details.

Southwark Bridge

We are currently recording the repainting of Southwark Bridge, which is being restored for the City of London, Corporation.

southwark-bridge-london

A three-year rolling programme

  • Southwark Bridge will be returned to its original bright colours of green and yellow
  • 13,000 litres of paint will be used on Southwark Bridge
  • 26,000 man hours to complete the Southwark Bridge job over a four – year period
  • £2.5 million to complete Southwark Bridge facelift
  • 1,000 tonnes of expendable abrasive will be used to blast Southwark Bridge back to its metal framework before repainting
The old coatings have been removed and the Blast Primer applied. This image was taken underneath the South Approach and shows the High Build Aluminium Primer being applied.
The old coatings have been removed and the Blast Primer applied. This image was taken underneath the South Approach and shows the High Build Aluminium Primer being applied.

Southwark Bridge is an arch bridge linking Southwark and the City across the River Thames. It was designed by Ernest George and Basil Mott and opened in 1921.

  • A previous bridge on the site, designed by John Rennie, opened in 1819. This was known as the “Iron Bridge” in comparison to London Bridge, the “Stone Bridge”. It is frequently referenced by Charles Dickens, for example in Little Dorritt and Our Mutual Friend.
  • Below the bridge on the south side are some old steps, which were once used by Thames watermen as a place to moor their boats and wait for customers. Southwark Bridge was built into the steps.
  • The next bridge upstream is the London Millennium Bridge and the next downstream is Cannon Street Railway Bridge.
  • The south end is near the Tate Modern, the Clink Prison Museum and the Financial Times building. The north end is near Cannon Street station

You can follow the restoration of Southwark Bridge on our dedicated website at www.southwarkbridge.co.uk

London’s Tower Bridge is also being restored – you can follow the restoration on our dedicated website at www.thetowerbridge.info

The Beasts

danFor many years, a masterpiece of English Baroque Architecture had languished forgotten and decaying in Central London. This is the Church of St George’s Bloomsbury, designed by the architect Nicholas Hawksmoor in the early 18th Century.

The tower and steeple of St George’s is one of Hawkmoor’s most inspired dramatic and theatrical designs. It is based on the Roman author Pliny the Elder’s description of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus (Bodrum, in Turkey) One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, it was famed for its superb sculptures and friezes, fragments of which are now on display in the British Museum, a stone’s throw away from the church.
Like the famed Mausoleum, St George’s spire is adorned with sculpture, but major elements of it were removed in a restoration of the 1870’s. Gigantic Lions and Unicorns originally clung to the four corners of the steeple.

As part of the restoration in 2004-2006, these extraordinary sculptures were recreated and restored to the building by the Cambridge based Architectural Carvers and Stonemasons, Fairhaven of Anglesey Abbey Ltd (now Fairhaven and Woods Ltd).

Harris Digital Productions filmed the whole process, from the model making, carving and the 72 stone sections which were assembled around the spire of the church.

 

beasts-st-george-bloomsbury

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