In November 2020, Orb Rope Access were appointed by an architect local to Cumbria to complete slate repairs, clean gutters and carry out a downpipe inspection at Sizergh Castle in Kendal.
The medieval Sizergh Castle, originally known as Sizergh Hall, was built in the early 14th century and is now a National Trust property. The site, which is a Grade l listed building, only became known as a castle in the 19th century. The great hall of c 1450 is still in existence, and other alterations, including the addition of two wings to the west, were carried out during the 16th century.
This is a heritage building that demands respect and care from any contractor that has been commissioned to work on it.
Some of the areas that the Orb Rope Access team inspected were over 500 years old, so we drew on our vast experience of working on heritage buildings as we carried out the work. Extreme care was required when moving around the building to ensure that no damage was caused by the work itself.
We rigged our ropes and moved carefully around the building to complete essential slate repairs, clean gutters and carry out a downpipe inspection.
Benefits to the client
The National Trust did not want unsightly scaffolding on site for two main reasons. Firstly, they knew that erecting scaffolding could potentially damage the structure, and secondly, they wanted to avoid spoiling the aesthetics of the building and disappointing, or putting off, visitors to the gardens.
With the castle building being closed due to lockdown restrictions, it was essential that visitors were encouraged to come on site and enjoy the gardens.
By using rope access to carry out the repairs, we were able to go about our work without disturbing the general public, most of which wouldn’t have been aware that we were there, carrying out essential maintenance.