Project Details

Value: circa £200K

Architects: HT Partnership, Morton Partnership and Orrell Partnership

Start date: November 2019

End date: December 2019

Lewes Castle Wall

Following storms & significant rainfall, on the 11th November 2019, a substantial section of the historic 12th Century curtain wall surrounding Lewes Castle suffered a devastating and sudden collapse. An estimated 600 tonnes of debris was left resting on adjacent buildings and elements of the original structure were precariously unsupported, giving rise to concerns of further instability and the potential risks for loss of life or property.

As a result of our successful delivery of previous sensitive heritage projects in the area, Cheesmur were pleased to be approached and appointed to carefully reduce the remnants of the historic structure to ground level, leaving it safe whilst Historic England came to a resolution as to how the archaeological feature could be rebuilt or a befitting memorial structure left in place. Our Special Works Team pooled their wealth of knowledge to agree a safe method of work which would allow us to carefully deconstruct the remaining unstable structures. The detailed RAMS gained unanimous approval from the various Consultant Engineers who acted on behalf of a number of parties with vested interests and Historic England. Following the completion of significant structural propping & temporary works and under the watchful eyes of the Client Team, archaeologists and media, on the 21st November 2020 our in-house ground works team were able to safely achieve the controlled collapse of the unstable structure. In the following weeks, the debris bearing on the adjacent structure was systematically removed and with the guidance of resident archaeologists, materials salvaged for future use.

Working closely with the Consultant Engineers to safely facilitate the investigations as deconstruction works continued, Cheesmur were fully committed to the thorough investigation of the collapse to establish the cause & enable lessons learned to be shared & protect other ancient monuments from similar events.

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