Heritage building conservation

Reading time 17 minutes

The Dean of building crafts college providing both craft and technical education at the very highest level. described me as a Filippo Brunelleschi. Who solved the impossible problem of building the Florence Cathedral dome. And thus, ignited the Italian Renaissance.

Trained by National Experts of the Building Crafts College including inspection and remedial work using traditional building crafts skills guaranteeing sympathetically undertaken conservation work.

My university workshops Sir John Cass / Guildhall University was next to The Whitechapel Bell Foundry that opened in 1570, the creator of Big Ben and the Liberty Bell. I remember spinning brass bowls in the workshops, walking past foundry on my break and the heat and sounds.

Whitechapel Bell foundry

Sadly the foundry closed on 12 June 2017, after nearly 450 years of bell-making and 250 years at its Whitechapel site. The site cleared for redevelopment.

2007 marked the 200th Anniversary of the abolishment of the transatlantic slave trade. Church bells have played a role in the abolishment movement. Bells are commonly representative of joy and freedom.

Independence Hall, Liberty Bell, Philadelphia, Pa. Post Card 1902 The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia became a symbol for campaigners wanting to abolish slavery in the US, On every Fourth of July, at 2pm and each year, the bell is gently tapped in honor of Martin Luther King Day. Recently a Blue Plague was unveiled in London to Martin Luther King

the first blue plaque outside Britain. (Picture credit the Voice) unveiled fed 2023

The blue plaque scheme was founded in 1866 by the RSA to preserve the heritage of London, since 2006 the NUBIAN JAK Community trust an organisation dedicated to installing blue plaques commemorating significant individuals from underrepresented communities.

Blue Plaque to Martin Luther King Camden London First on place of worship Jan 2024

Approached by the Head of the historic building conservation course, to run a construction skills training satellite college in the grounds of Battersea Powerstation site link, and became member of the IfL Institute for Learning, teaching life long learners.

RSA House

RSA House

RSA House, a Grade II* listed Georgian Townhouse completed in 1774 John Adam’s Street London's W2. several original Adams features remain including the staircase.

The RSA was founded 250 years ago, as an apolitical National improvement organisation (social, economic, technological, institutional and artistic), using technology to meet the challenges of our times including abolish child labour and establishing Music education in public schools. See Music

Sympathetic Works

Historic Building Conservation (FdSc) (Distinctions in all units) Kingston University sept 2008 recognised by the RICS The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, AssocRICS and Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) and Full membership of the RICS.

Greece the birthplace of democracy, Greek Classical Orders, adopted by Italian renaissance (a French word meaning rebirth), architecture, Ratio of dimensions and there relation to one another Doric Order commonly used in architecture of banks and legal institutions.

Kenwood House

Kenwood house Grade I listed with national heritage one of the significant historic buildings and sites in England. Located At the top of Hampstead Heath a short distance from the path on the Heath that is a legally protected unobstructed view of St Paul’s Cathedral across London.

Kenwood house the site of first fine art painting to depict race equality and diversity. Dido Bele the mixed race niece of the Judge and artworld enigma that inspired a movie Belle. (Repointing lime mortar)

One of the most important legal rulings in history was made by William Murry 1st Earl of Mansfield a Scottish judge appointed Lord Chief Justice in 1754 in London who helped transform British legal system, when he outlawed the transportation of slaves in England across the Oceans to Jamaica in 1772, hoping to have done more in setting the path for the abolishment of slavery. (William Murray and Kenwood House)

Following Scotland became bankrupted and lost its independence parliament to England

Light well in hallway seating area of William Murray 1st Earl of Mansfield home Kenwood House, restored after WWI and donated to the National Trust by the Guinness family housing fine art collection. free entry

The tour guide described how the building was derelict after WWI was going to be turned into homes for ex servicemen, when Guinness family donated there fine art collection and renovation was carried out.

While Britain was put in high stakes card game with the wealthy who where paid off, creating a larger resection than any financial collapse in history, while it took a war in America for it to end 1865 nearly a hundred years later, while modern day slavery servitude is at higher rates than ever in history.

I.e. during Nelson Mandela 27 years imprisonment and the conservative Gov in London blocked sanctions against South Africa during apartheid, message reached him, he was given the freedom of the City of Glasgow and it was one of the first places he visited when he gained his freedom. Followed by fiscal errors of labour Gov. mentioned below.

Cultural understanding

On a Visit to the UAE a cultural understanding took place Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mothers Mosque was undergoing restoration work and invited to met religious leader Iman and increase cultural awareness, normally non believers are not allowed within a Mosque, it reminded me of the repairs carried out on the Grand Mosque in Turkey a museum at the time now convert back to a Mosque, that was modeled in CAD to analyses the effect the materials of repair works would have on the sound quality of the call to prayer in 1994, which at the time sparked my interest in CAD and historic building conservation.

Met a prominent Local in Dubai who showed me his most precious belonging, a small photograph of an old simple house, where his grandfather was born and explained how money was relativity new to them and to be patient as they learn how to handle it properly.

The Royal Observatory Greenwich, inspecting of conservation works to roof. 2006

Maritime Greenwich is One of four UNESCO World Heritage sites in London. the Prime Meridian line. The transit circle was built by the 7th Astronomer Royal, Sir George Biddell Airy, in 1850. The cross-hairs in the eyepiece of the Transit Circle precisely defined Longitude 0° for the World. The line in Greenwich represents the historic Prime Meridian of the World - Longitude 0º, Every place on Earth was measured in terms of its distance east or west from this line Longitude 0° for the world reference line for astronomical observations, and Greenwich Mean Time, or GMT. preserving the view of the night sky see ECO light pollution. (where have all the stars gone)

Studies from Grand tour sketches of Palladio's St. Giorgio Maggiore’s Church Venice

European art collaboration project requested the WebGL VR version link of Palladio's St. Giorgio Maggiore’s Church in Venice to explain to the monks an art installation.

View over Palladio's St.Giorgio Maggiores Church in Venice

On a visit to Venice, Ca' Foscari University of Venice link Invited to inspect their research into new cleaning and restoration approach to stone work of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Piazza San Marco,

St Mark's Square Venice UNESCO World Heritage site

Sympathetic Stone Cleaning process removing discoloration from pollution and bird droppings, before and after treated section on the right carried out by Ca' Foscari University of Venice

Detailing of Villa La Rotonda, Renaissance villa just outside Vicenza in Northern Italy designed by Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio, and begun in 1567, though not completed until the 1590s.

Andrea Palladio, Villa La Rotonda

Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio, Villa La Rotonda craftsmanship

Sri Padmanabhaswamy Hindu Temple

Had the Honor and great pleasure of escorting around the Queens Gallery at Buckingham Palace 22nd Oct 2011 and Tea in Soho central London members of The Travancore Royal family (was the ruling house of the Kingdom of Travancore.) the custodians of the Sri Padmanabhaswamy Hindu Temple. in Kerala in the Tamil Nadu region in the southeast of modernIndia.

Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple estimated to be 5000 years old, the Sun at Equinox aligns with temple. (see Archt) passing through the openings as a shaft of light.

On the the days of equinox the 5000 year old temple aligns with the Sun passing exactly through all the window openings in the gopuram (monumental entrance tower) in succession, at approximately 15 minutes intervals. (see Architectural daylight analysis.)

The Indian Government are building a museum to the history of the temple, which gained international attention following the discovery of priceless Gold artifacts in a number of large volts with volts never to be opened, an important religious site and strictly for followers of the Hindu faith.

Put in Context: In 1999 Gordon Brown, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, sold approx half of the UK Gold reserve, devaluing the Gold market, costing British taxpayers an estimated £2-7Bn, it was shortly after apartheid in South Africa, making funding changes difficult for their new government who's Gold mines are a major source revenue, see India's governments recent handling of the estimated US$1tn of Gold artifacts at the Sri Padmanabhaswamy Hindu Temple, reported to be opening a museum. (see Jewellery ind The Goldsmith Company)

Temple Procession ready to start from Trivandrum Ananda Padmanabha Swamy Temple in 1930 one of the 108 holy temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu and one of the most Wealthy Temples in the World

The Trocadéro

The Trocadéro site of the Palais de Chaillot, is an area of Paris, France, in the 16th arrondissement, across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower. It is also the name of the 1878 Trocadéro Palace which was demolished in 1937 to make way for the Palais de Chaillot.

The Trocadéro Maybe used as the site for the opening ceremony of the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Trocadéro river Saine view of Eiffel Tower Paris

Historic Desert homes

Visit to abandoned French Foreign Legion Desert fort in UAE, followed by meeting foreigners with contacts exporting Architectural heritage, including Ornate wooden doors which where being sent abroad and turned into luxury tables for trendy coffee shops, complained heavily stating their cultural significance and architectural historic importance.

I went on to study a full time two year FdSc. Science Foundation degree in Historic Building Conservation: receiving a distinction in every unit, Removing architectural detailing, fixtures and fittings to protected Historic Buildings is a crime damaging national cultural heritage.

And to became involved in photogrammetry, (see ArtScience) the Technology used to create Digital Twins of Historic architectural structures in Syria including Palmyra's Arch of Triumph which was destroyed and a replica was created example link. the same Technology is mentioned in the press to create replicas for museums and return i.e. the Parthenon sculptures to Greece and other World culturally significant artifacts.

French Foreign Legion Fort archeological site

2016 The "Syrian Heritage" Project aims to preserve threatened cultural heritage objects in Syria, and Sketchfab member Iconem traveled to Damascus to capture them in 3D - before disaster strikes. An Expert with one of the best known collection of images of sites was held by the Syrian authorities.

Dutch metal

Greenwich Park Gates Gold Leaf one of London's eight Royal Parks; a mix of 17th century landscape, stunning gardens and a history dating back to Roman times.

In Greenwich park the master craftsperson was tasked with laying dutch metal, 24K gold leaf in the restoration work on the gates of Greenwich and Buckingham palace staircase, demonstrated his work and explained when the late Queen Elizabeth II took one look at the finished result and requested the work to be finished in a way so as not to look new and garish, a technique was used to artificially age the Gold leaf so as not to look plastic.

Buckingham palace Staircase

Gardens of Buckingham Palace

St Brides church and Museum of Print making

St Brides inspiration to tiered wedding cake and the Print making Museum

St Brides church was designed by Sir Christopher Wren in 1672, the St. Brides Foundation trust is the Museum of Print making and inspiration of the iconic tiered Wedding Cake, mentioned the Science Museum was suited to displaying pieces of my pioneering 3D Printing, Wedding ring design and manufacturing and industry White Paper on Computer Aided Design for The GOLDSMITHS' Company. (see Innovation and Jewellery Ind)

Print industry journalist Simon Eccles Wedding Cake 3d Printed models CJP ColorJet Printing

3D specialist for the LGS London Graphic Systems, specialists colour management and print technology for the creative industries in London.

"He is also fulsome in his praise for the expert advice and assistance of John Robertson at LGS, which owns the 3D printer used" Print Week

Eastbury Manor House: Glow installation

As a cultural connector helped organise the Digital laser building survey inspection of Eastbury House built 1566-1572, Grade I listed Elizabethan Manor house link by team from Architectural Survey department lead by Prof Peter Lakin heritage specialist of Building Craft College and UEL after restoration works was carried out.

Cultural connector With Creative Barking and Dagenham (CBD) started in 2014 to address issues affecting local arts engagement were a lack of places to find out information about creative activities, limited networking and development opportunities for the local arts sector.

Cultural connector Glow 2016 light exhibition at Eastbury Manor House,

VR 360 view of Planetary Light Show Glow installation by Grace Crannis Eastbury Manor House VR 360 link

GOLDSMITHS’ Hall London

Design and Craftsmanship Exhibited in the Goldsmiths' Craft and Design Council Awards at Goldsmiths' Hall in London. (see innovation) and technical author for The GOLDSMITHS' Company (see jewellery Ind)

Founded in 1327, The Goldsmiths Company is one of the Great Twelve Livery Companies of the City of London, independently keeping Gold Standards since King Henry VIII added Lead to Gold to make himself seam richer, consumer protection for 700 years and continues to support the trade today. The Leopard, the Assay Office London, for authenticity Makers are Legally required to test and Hallmark precarious metals.

Positioned at the junction of Foster Lane and Gresham Street, north east of St. Paul's Cathedral, the magnificent Hall, opened in 1835, is one of London's hidden treasures.

GOLDSMITHS' COMPANY, GOLDSMITHS’ FAIR. VR 360 View lLink Photo permission from Media Director GOLDSMITHS' COMPANY

The statutory function of the Company continues as consumer protection through the operations of The Goldsmiths' Company Assay Office. All items sold within the UK with elements of gold, silver, platinum or palladium are legally required to be tested by an assay office laboratory and hallmarked, Other responsibilities of Assay Office London include the annual examination of coins manufactured by the Royal Mint, and hold the Chancellor to account described as the trial of the Pyx, and the charitable trust.

The charitable function continues to fund education and social projects The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths opened it in 1891 The Goldsmiths’ Company’s Technical and Recreative Institute. for an area of South East London with a under represented proportion of young people participating in higher education in the Arts and Humanities, this continues today as Goldsmiths, University of London and in 2007 opened the Goldsmiths Center for training of craftspeople of London.

Carthusian priory

MOUNT GRACE PRIORY monastery established in 1398 is the best preserved Carthusian priory in Britain.

Mount Grace Priory is a monastery in Set in woodlands within the North York Moors National Park, it is represented today by the best preserved and most accessible ruins among the nine houses of the Carthusian Order, which existed in England in the Middle Ages and were known as charterhouses.

Priory established 1398 monks studied the Holy Bible in complete isolation

Gray’s Inn

The Honourable Society of Gray's Inn:

Graduation to achieve Accredited Chartered Manager AMI Administrative Management Institute. The oldest administrative standard and those for the courts system.

Gray’s Inn has been home to lawyers since before 1388 AD and is today one of the four Inns of Court responsible for the education and training of barristers before and after their Call to the Bar.

Built from reclaimed oak from a the Spanish armada, with portraits hanging of past High Court Judges, and standards of the Courts in Stained class.

The Honourable Society of Gray's Inn, High Courts Judges dinning room

William Morris Gallery

Walthamstow's William Morris Gallery won the £100,000 Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year 2013 for its major renovation and creative reinterpretation of the life and work of Morris -

The museum is dedicated to the life and works of William Morris a British textile designer, poet, artist, fantasy writer, architectural conservationist, printer, translator and socialist activist associated with the British Arts and Crafts Movement, who was born in Walthamstow in 1834.

Captured this photograph just after conservation and restoration works was completed.

Glasgow School of Art

As a schoolboy studied the life and work of the Scottish architect, designer, water colourist and artist, Charles Rennie Macintosh taking myself off visiting his work from Tea rooms, to Hill House and the carpentry workshops preserving his work across Scotland, my Great Grandfather was the Borough Surveyor for Ayrshire and may well have known him and the Glasgow school and Vienna Secession which Macintosh visited at the time, before shortly being mistakenly arrested for being a Spy by the English on a short stop off to paint on the way back to Scotland. the same region arrested a monkey on suspicion of being a Frenchman.

Had the great pleasure of exploring the Category A listed Glasgow School of Art, over a decade before the fires devastated the masterpiece of Architectural light design, the sculpture studio on the top floor was a unobstructed curved glass canopy capturing daylight from all angles, as a schoolboy told my research was better than they find at degree level. (Historic Environment Scotland: Category A listed Buildings of special architectural or historical interest which are outstanding examples of a particular period, style or building type.)

Charles Rennie Macintosh, cross section of Glasgow School of Art 1909

Buddha Mountain Khao Chi Chan

Invited to Thailand by family of Senior Thai officer, turned down an offer to enter the seedy Patpong market. instead stood among the statues of the Shaolin Styles at Viharnra Sien (Anek Kusala Sala) Chinese Temple.

And looked upon the Khao Chi Chan (Buddha Mountain), at the largest collection of Chinese artifacts outside of China, devout Buddhists touching in reverence the cast metal statues of the Buddha have caused the fine detailed decorative patterns to fade over the centuries making them only visible to the trained eye.

Viharn Sien Chinese Temple

Last day of summer before the pandemic

spent the last day of summer before the pandemic watching the sunrise over the of the west cost of Scotland, Wemyss Bay train station current station wasn't built in 1906 is a grade A listed building . It has a walkway right onto the ferry where you can travel to the Isle of Bute. West coast of Scotland.

met a traveller family who invited me to give words of engagement to there creative teenage dyslexic daughter.

Last day of summer before the pandemic

White Star line HQ interior Liverpool

Trinidad and Tobago National Trust

Preferred Member of national trust of Trinidad and Tobago, returning to highlight of previous visit a remarkable historic retractable roof in Sande Grande for drying Cocoa, sadly informed by the owner it had been demolished. The National Trust protect 51 sites and added the Post Office in Sande Grande in 2019.

the UK has 378,105 protected listed building in comparison Trinidad has 51 protected places of natural or historic importance. And I was told by a Trinidad architectural student the colonial architecture is resented because of the connotations colonialism.

National trust being the only profit making government department from running talks and tours etc, during Covid its coppers where used to fund struggling companies at the start of the Pandemic.

Architects from the Trinidad who I have helped train generally dislike the Colonial past of the Island, and what its architecture symbolises, Currently their is a 4 year American University study 3D scanning heritage sites and interviewing local experts to document the past, and invited climate experts to give free public talks. (see Arch)

Attempted to find an example of Chocolate bean drying retractable roof that I remembered from my first visit found the owner to find it had been demolished.

written as CPD continual professional development.