A la Ronde Roof Project
The roof is now watertight. Thank you to everyone who has supported the project so far by sponsoring a slate, buying a raffle ticket and all the generous donations we have received. This work will enable vital conservation to the shell gallery.
The shell gallery was being damaged by water due to a leaky roof. It's not just shells, there is also bones, feathers, lichen, watercolours, seaweed, crushed minerals, fir cones, starfish and other materials.
Before work could begin a special 16-sided scaffolding had to be put up, this took around 6 weeks to do. There's not many 16-sided scaffolding structures in the world so this was a big task in itself.
1500 delabole slates were used to make the roof watertight. After taking the old slates off, investigation work was undertaken on the roof to make sure there were no additional problems. Luckily there weren't, although there were some interesting finds including heart decoration on the chimneys.
A plaster specialist identified work needed to wall paintings in the Shell Gallery which had to be completed before the slates were screwed on. These were screwed rather than hammered which ensured limited vibrations to the Shell Gallery.
What's happening during winter?
The finishing touches.
The windows will be replaced with smart glass which will allow the team to control the amount of light that goes into the gallery.
The wooden boarding that goes around the outside of the gallery windows will be replaced with new boards as the old ones have gone rotten. This walkway is crucial to allow maintenance work to be carried out.
Once this work has been finished the scaffolding will be taken down; this is expected to happen in February.