British Museum, main gate refurbishment, London

Client: The British Museum
Architect: Purcell
Type of Project: Grade II Restoration
Contract Type: JCT Minor Works
Project Value: £230k

British Museum, main gate refurbishment
British Museum, main gate refurbishment
British Museum, main gate refurbishment
British Museum, main gate refurbishment

We’re proud to continue our relationship with the British Museum with the instruction to repair and carry out general conservation works to the Grade II listed cast iron gates forming 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, the railings themselves are set in granite bases.




Any conservation or restoration work to historic cast ironwork requires a sensitive approach, the main gates are no exception. With this in mind Curo Construction carried out numerous surveys with hundreds of photos taken to ensure that all methods and materials used are 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 team members for the project.

As part of the works package a full record of the methods and materials used shall be kept to ensure future historians have the necessary information to assess and plan for future works.

The works comprise of restoring the gates to a sound and maintainable condition, replacing any missing or significantly damaged elements after gaining client approval, such as the repair and refit of a damaged run of cast iron forming skirt to the gate.

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

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1 & 1A Montague StreetBritish Museum, 41-43 Russell Square