The highly successful restoration of the historic Grade A listed Inverness Town House has been commended in the UK Natural Stone Awards, 2018.
The project won joint first place with the Palace of Westminster in the Repair and Restoration category which was sponsored by Historic England.
The winning project involved a two-phase restoration which was spread across a three year period.
Phases one and two included external fabric repairs to the outer stone envelope as well as rot repairs and the re-slating of the scotch slate roofs including new lead valleys, gutters and flashings. The Inverness Common Good Fund owns Inverness Town House. The refurbishment works were funded by the Inverness Common Good Fund and Historic Environment Scotland.
After examination of the original stone, it was found that repair and replacement was required in some places.
Darney stone was selected as a suitable match in geology, colour and availability. Lime mortars were chosen as the most compatible with the existing and new stone.
The judges noted that ‘…the work was executed in the most careful and precise manner, collectively presenting a unique portfolio of skilled craftsmanship.’
Work on the remaining original carvings, including the Mercat Cross and various descriptive plaque wall face panels added up to almost 3,000 hours of professional conservation repairs.
The project included input and work from LDN Architects, the main and principal contractor: LTM Group Ltd, Rainbow Glass Studio and stone suppliers Marshalls Stancliffe Stones.
The judges commented that ‘…this project showcased an exemplary range of craft skills, skilfully detailed, intricate and diverse carvings and associated works.’
Councillor Allan Henderson, chair of the council’s environment, development and infrastructure committee said: ‘Many congratulations to the team. I am so proud of them and the work they have done on the Town House. Coming first-equal place with the Palace of Westminster in this award is a well-deserved accolade. The team are a credit to Inverness and The Highland Council.’
Provost of Inverness, Councillor Helen Carmichael added: ‘We all share the immense pride of the success of this Inverness Common Good Funded project. It’s obvious for all to see who live in and visit Inverness what a truly magnificent transformation the Town House has undergone. This award confirms the highest quality and skilled workmanship involved in the Town House project have delivered the not only beautiful but industry acclaimed results.’
The ‘Stone Federation Great Britain’ Natural Stone Awards is a biennial event where the best stone construction projects from across the UK are acknowledged and celebrated. The 2018 awards saw hundreds of projects entered across the six categories.
The Stone Federation’s purpose is to promote the advantages of using natural stone as a ‘…versatile, durable and sustainable building material of choice.’ The awards provides winners with a platform in their industry and further spreads the word of excellent new projects.
More information can be found on the Stone Federation website HERE.