Journal of Architectural Conservation

Volume 14 Number 2 July 2008


Obituary: Professor John Ashurst (1937–2008)

Editorial  Norman R. Weiss

Battersea Power Station: An Account of the Proposed Demolition and Rebuilding of the Chimneys  Keith Garner

Paine’s Chapel at Cusworth Hall: Conservation of an Interior  Elizabeth Hirst, Alison Aynesworth and Karen Morrissey

Conserving the Cutty Sark: Electrolysis Treatments for a Grade I Listed Clipper Ship Gina Crevello and Paul Noyce

Conservation of Traditional Ironwork: A Craftsman’s Perspective Chris Topp

Urban Regeneration and the Management of Change: Liverpool and the Historic Urban Landscape Dennis Rodwell


Read the Editorial by Norman Weiss



Abstracts and author information


Battersea Power Station

An Account of the Proposed Demolition and Rebuilding of the Chimneys

Keith Garner


The paper discusses the proposed demolition and rebuilding of Battersea Power Station’s chimneys in 2005. The history of the building and its significance are first briefly recounted. Proposals for the reuse of the building after it closed down in 1983 are also discussed. The paper then considers a survey of the chimneys carried out in 2003 by engineers working for the building’s then owners Parkview. The survey found that the chimneys were in poor condition and that it was necessary to demolish and rebuild them. The paper next addresses an alternative report, commissioned jointly by three conservation organizations, which made a proposal for repairing the chimneys using conventional techniques. The paper concludes with a discussion of Parkview’s application to demolish and rebuild the four chimneys.


Keith Garner

Keith Garner is an architect based in Battersea, London. He has been involved in the campaign to preserve Battersea Power Station since 1993 and was a co-founder of the Battersea Power Station Company Ltd in 2002.


Paine’s Chapel at Cusworth Hall

Conservation of an Interior

Elizabeth Hirst, Alison Aynesworth and Karen Morrissey


The key to a successful conservation project rests on a sound understanding of the history of the site, its significance, and the materials and structure of its construction; the building envelope is a complex assembly which requires co-ordinated, multidisciplinary evaluation. The 2000-07 restoration of Cusworth Hall, Doncaster, provides an excellent illustration of how a logically phased programme results in a sympathetic and sustainable outcome benefiting not only the building but also the wider community. This paper describes the re-presentation of the chapel which commenced in 2000 with historic paint analysis. A significant result of these investigations was the discovery of hidden figurative paintings on the plaster ceiling. Subsequently, and with further funding in place, the interior of the chapel was restored in 2005-06 as part of a major renovation of the house. The project was subdivided into several categories of conservation expertise, including the suspension and repair of the plaster ceiling, uncovering of ceiling paintings, conservation and reinstatement of a large oil painting, redecoration using bespoke lead paints, and materials analysis leading to the repair and stabilization of the original red plaster floor.


Elizabeth Hirst ACR, FRSA

Elizabeth Hirst is an architectural conservator involved in a broad range of projects including: consultancy; practical, preventative conservation; and the development of strategic conservation plans and specifications.

Alison Aynesworth BA(Hons), MA

Alison Aynesworth joined Hirst Conservation in 2000, specializing in the conservation of easel paintings. She is the senior paintings conservator, managing site-based projects and undertaking research in various areas of preventive and interventive conservation.

Karen Morrissey BA(Hons), PGDip

Karen Morrissey joined Hirst Conservation in 1997, specializing in the conservation of painted decorations and associated research. She is the senior historic paint researcher, working on paint research projects in the UK and Europe.


Conserving the Cutty Sark

Electrolysis Treatments for a Grade I Listed Clipper Ship

Gina Crevello and Paul Noyce


The Cutty Sark clipper ship is currently undergoing a major conservation, restoration and expansion in order to become a world-class museum and conference centre. The full-scale works are in progress, though hindered by a fire that swept the hull of the ship on 21 May 2007. One of the major mechanisms of deterioration to the ship was the corrosion of the wrought iron frame, which has been accelerated by chlorides. The intention of the original conservation plan was to carry out electrolysis for chloride ion removal from the iron frame in vulnerable areas of the ship. The evolution of the rationale for the electrolysis will also be discussed in relation to trials performed prior to the involvement of the authors. Post-fire requirements changed the specified scope of work, though the research to date had been very promising. This paper discusses the history of the ship and construction, corrosion and accelerated chloride induced corrosion. It then describes electrolysis treatments and the removal of chlorides, the results of the work in this area carried out by Electro Tech CP and others, and relevant post-fire considerations.


Gina Crevello

Gina Crevello was formally trained as an architectural conservator. She has experience with many different masonry materials as well as in cultural resource management. Gina began working with Electro Tech CP three years ago and now specifically deals with corrosion control and treatments in historic structures, buildings and artefacts.

Paul Noyce

Paul Noyce has a background in electrical and electronic engineering and has been working in the field of electrochemistry since 1991. His work has covered chloride extraction, realkalization, galvanic and impressed current cathodic protection, and more recently the use of electrolysis and electro osmosis.


Conservation of Traditional Ironwork

A Craftsman’s Perspective

Chris Topp


The UK boasts one of the major collections of historic ornamental ironwork in the world, going back to the height of ironwork production in the early eighteenth century. Care of these works, often masterpieces, has always been improvised. The majority are outdoors and suffer from the effects of the weather, often until there is loss of material. This paper discusses options regarding materials and methods for sympathetic conservation measures for ironwork, particularly in the case of wrought iron. It emphasizes the need for preserving and promoting the skills of the blacksmith. It is important that the quality conservation work goes to those who not only have the skills, but who also actively train their workforce. There is a need for such work to be well specified, taking into account its historic nature, on the basis of a set of guidelines that promote good practice and make it difficult for less skilled or caring practitioners to win the work. It is suggested that a form of vetting of skill specific to the craft of the blacksmith conservator/restorer be introduced, not dissimilar to the Professional Accreditation of Conservator Restorers (PACR).


Chris Topp

Chris Topp graduated in civil engineering in 1970 from Newcastle University. He was a founder member of Dorothea Restorations in 1974. He subsequently established Chris Topp & Co Ironworkers in 1980, whose client list includes St Paul’s, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and Chatsworth House. Chris also established The Real Wrought Iron Company in 1985 to reinstate the supply of wrought iron for heritage work.


Urban Regeneration and the Management of Change

Liverpool and the Historic Urban Landscape

Dennis Rodwell


In the decades following the Second World War the once proud transatlantic port and trading city of Liverpool witnessed serious, progressive decline. The city featured prominently in buildings at risk registers, and areas of traditional terraced housing remain programmed for destruction under the government’s controversial Housing Market Renewal Initiative (better known as 'Pathfinder’). In recent years Liverpool has seen a remarkable change of fortune. Key monuments have been restored, and multi-million pound projects of inner-city redevelopment are either on site or in the pipeline, including one for the site of the 'fourth grace’. Six linked, tightly defined areas in the historic centre and docklands were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004; Liverpool celebrated its 800th anniversary in 2007 and is European Capital of Culture 2008. This paper sets out the historical background, recent initiatives and ongoing conservation challenges that confront the historic central and waterfront areas as well as the wider city of Liverpool. It relates threats posed by tall buildings and `iconic’ modern architecture to the concept of 'historic urban landscape’, a UNESCO World Heritage Centre initiative aimed at the protection of urban identity and the management of change at the scale of historic cities.


Dennis Rodwell MA, DipArch(Cantab), DipFrench(Open), RIBA, FRIAS, FSA Scot, FRSA, IHBC

Dennis Rodwell works internationally as a consultant architect-planner, focusing on the promotion and achievement of best practice in the management of historic cities and the conservation of historic buildings. In recent years he has undertaken a number of missions on behalf of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and Division of Cultural Heritage, the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ), the World Bank and the British Council.


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