We are proud to have continued our relationship with the British Museum with this scheme to repair and carry out general conservation works to, the Grade II listed cast iron gates that form the main entrance on Great Russell Street.

The gates were originally installed in 1852, each weighing approximately 5 tons and operated by means of a windlass and were fitted above an underground passage.

Any conservation or restoration work to historic cast ironwork requires a sensitive approach, and the British Museum main gates were no exception. With this in mind Curo Construction carried out numerous surveys, with hundreds of photos taken, to ensure that all methods and materials that were used were in keeping to the original craftsmanship of these iconic gates. Thorough investigations of potential specialist engineering conservators were carried out by our commercial and design teams to ensure we could gather the best possible partners for the project.

As part of the works package, a full record of the methods and materials used was kept to ensure future historians have the necessary information to assess and plan for future works. The works comprised of restoring the gates to a sound and maintainable condition, and replacing any missing or significantly damaged elements, after gaining client approval. This included the repair and refit of a damaged run of cast iron forming skirt to the gate.

All finishes and decorations were then made good and matched to the existing surrounding details. In addition, all lubrication points, including bronze bearing for both gates, were treated and cleaned. The basement area itself was fully cleaned, including drains, foot ladder and strip drains, with debris and rubbish removed. The bevel gears inside the main pillars were also recommissioned so that the gates could be manually opened once again.


The British Museum




Arts, Heritage & Culture

Contract Type

JCT Minor Works

Gallery of works.