Gothic Curiosity in Colchester is Revived with Extensive Restoration Work
USL were pleased to be appointed as main contractor for a 2-phase restoration project with strict time constraints at the ‘Turrets’ building, home to St Mary’s School for Girls in Colchester.
The ‘Turrets’ is a Grade II Listed building located on the upper school site of St.Mary’s School. This fascinating building is in the ‘Gothic Curiosity’ style with battlements, turrets and gothic pointed windows, and is around 190 years old. It was built in 1817 from the infamous Colchester Town Clerk Francis Smythies (1779-1840).
The plastered brick, 4-elevation building was in need of restoration, repairs and redecoration to the masonry and windows. The project as organized into 2 phases and entailed; repairs to stone steps, repairs to window casements and frames, new leadwork to windows, installation of new curved oak handrail, new flat roof system installed, chimney stack restoration, external restoration to cement render and redecoration to internal spaces as well as the façade.
As an active and occupied senior school, this project incurred a number of challenges including the safe removal of Asbestos from the internal stairwell whilst being controlled through and via classrooms. Additionally it was discovered that the existing turrets and chimney stacks were found to be seriously decayed, offering poor ventilation and required rebuilding and restoration.
USL took great care to reconsolidate the failing render and masonry whilst conserving the aesthetics of the Turrets.