Pittville is a beautiful area of Cheltenham, featuring stunning examples of architecture from the Regency period. One area lay forgotten that was the public spaces and areas associated with the old gateway marking the entrance to Pittville. The gates had fallen into disrepair, the lanterns no longer worked and elements of the ironwork had rotted away. Thanks to the efforts of The Friends of Pittville an initiative to restore the gates was born and they approached RRA along with Cheltenham Borough Council to help them restore the gates.
Client:Cheltenham Borough Council
Structural Engineer:Clarke, Nicholls & Marcel Ltd
Photo Credit:Infinity Unlimited
Specialist StoneworkCotswold Conservation
Cost ConsultantMorgan Alexander Ltd
RRA was appointed in 2011 to set about restoring the ironwork and stonework plinths. Utilising past experience in conservation and heritage work, RRA advised that the project should be completed in phases to allow funds to be spent in increments and to ensure various stages of restoration and fund raising could happen in sequence.
Grantham Coates where engaged to survey the gates using the very latest laser scanning technology – you can see their work at https://tinyurl.com/ycog3wph
Pieces of the gates had been completely lost and it was necessary to find craftsmen who could use the remaining structure to remake the rotten, or missing, elements of the wrought iron features, recast the gates and repair the overthrow. This involved real skill and craftsmanship and some heavy industrial processes, using molten metal to cast new sections into replica sand moulds.
The stone piers had rotted and were very delaminated, largely due to failed weathering details and air pollution over many years. Replacement stone was cut from a selected quarry in the Forest of Dean and crafted by stone specialists, Cotswold Conservation.
As a community project, it attracted considerable public interest during all stages of the work, local people became involved in the making, fund raising and construction of the project. Volunteers helped clean the site and plant new landscaping. They also documented the whole project for future generations
The project was completed towards the end of 2014 and the Mayor of Cheltenham officially opened the gates in April 2015, with Royal Approval from Buckingham Palace.