Stone masons will put the finishing touches to the complex restoration work of a weather-damaged section of Rochester Castle’s curtain wall next week.
The experienced craftsmen have painstakingly repaired the 24m section of retaining wall, which collapsed in March after a deluge of heavy rain led to ground movement.
Emergency shoring works were carried out to limit further short-term damage to the wall – not part of the original Roman or medieval walls – and ensure the adjoining historic walls were not disturbed.
Structural engineers and English Heritage were then called in to install a concrete base slab and a reinforced concrete wall, before giving the entire new section a rag stone face, in-keeping with the existing wall.
The final pieces of thin Kentish stone, taken from the fallen wall, will be put into place from 1pm on Wednesday, October 13.
English Heritage’s Roy Porter said: “We have been working hard to find the best way to solve this complex problem.
“There were two primary objectives. First we needed to ensure that there was no further ground disturbance that might put at risk the castle’s medieval curtain wall.
“Second, we had to design a solution that not only performed an important engineering role but also harmonised with the setting and character of the castle.
“We have sought to create a new structure which is up to the job of retaining the ground beneath the curtain wall without harming the heritage values of Rochester Castle.”
Medway Council’s community services chief Howard Doe added: “We have been working closely with English Heritage to assess the best way to protect the castle’s medieval walls, which thankfully, were not affected by the collapse.
“Rochester Castle is one of Medway’s real gems and a vital part of the area’s heritage. This conservation project has been a priority for both the council and English Heritage and it is great to see this iconic monument restored for residents and visitors alike to enjoy.”
Source: Kent News