On Tuesday 30th September Woodhead Heritage’s restoration of the Magnus Buildings in Newark reached another milestone with the new oak beams, weighing a tonne each, being raised into place in the old Tudor building.
Work on what will be the National Civil War Centre has been progressing well over the past year and fitting these beams offers the structural integrity to the roof structure it needs to see out future centuries, after ageing beams had become to decay.
The Woodhead Heritage team used a 100 tonne crane to lift the beams into place. This size of crane was not needed for the weight of the beams, but the reach it has to take because of the tight nature of the sight, means it has to stretch almost 40 metres.
The £5.4m project by Newark and Sherwood District Council is being supported by £3.5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
New beams are replacing rotten ones found in the building’s Tudor roof, which has been completely stripped with all the roof tiles removed.
The operation – led by Stag client, Woodhead Heritage – needed delicate handling, explained here by site manager Mervyn Bollard: “We will use a crane to lift the beams thirty foot high and then carefully manhandle them into position onto the scaffolding and into a lift to complete the final part of their journey. Like the old beams the new ones are oak and we’ll also use wooden pegs and carpentry joints to fix them in place, just like the Tudor craftsmen. It’s a complex job and key part of the restoration programme.”
The centre is set to be finished in early 2015.