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8th August 2005

Tower of London Roof Access System Helps Win Conservation Award

A roof access system designed by Online Safety, part of the Checkmate Avon group of companies, contributed to the project to restore part of the Tower of London that has won a prestigious conservation award.

The project, managed by Historic Royal Palaces, was awarded the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors Conservation Award 2005, for its stone conservation repairs and lead roof installation at the Wakefield Tower.

Online Safety designed and installed an easy-to-release gas strut controlled lifting mechanism enabling a 300kg octagonal lead covered hatch to be lifted by one person. This hatch allows for inspection of the underside of the roof covering and access to the winding mechanism, that safely raises and lowers the lighting corona in the throne room below.

Improved roof access was also provided by installing specially shaped walkways designed to match the octagonal hatch and fixed with clamps to the lead rolls to avoid penetrating the roof.

The Wakefield tower was built in the early 13th century and housed the crown jewels from 1870 until 1967. The tower has two chambers, the ground floor acting as a guardroom to the postern, which lead to the royal apartments above. The upper floor contains a large and magnificent octagonal vaulted chamber and an oratory. Not without its share of the Tower of London’s bloody history, Henry VI died in the Wakefield Tower on May 21st 1471, allegedly murdered on the orders of the Duke of Gloucester, later Richard III.

Director of Online Safety Roger Townsend said “We are extremely pleased to have been part of the project which received this prestigious award. The Tower of London is a marvellous building, steeped in history, and it’s a great pleasure to be able to design a system which satisfies the demands of Health and Safety legislation that is sympathetic to the fabric of the building.”

Other recent On Line safety projects include Buckingham Palace, the University of Greenwich and St Paul’s Cathedral.

For further information contact: Roger Townsend 01795 580333