River Ouse put to work in Guildhall restoration

The York Council was criticised for allowing the Guildhall to remain empty for 8 years adding to renovation costs

The river Ouse will be put to work this week as deliveries of infrastructure and materials make their way to the Guildhall as part of the restoration works. 

Barges will deliver all the steelwork for the construction and the precast concrete floor slabs that would be near impossible to deliver by road to the city centre location. The use of the river significantly reduces road deliveries into the heart of the city.

These initial deliveries will install the pontoons and begin the erection of the onsite tower crane, enabling regular deliveries to take place from the River. Shortly after, barges will then remove the demolition spoil to a waste re-processing facility in Goole, taking more skip lorries off the city’s road network.

The barges and pontoons carrying the materials replays the route taken by barges in the medieval period when the minster stone was brought to York by boat.  They will travel between Queen’s Staith and Guildhall, arriving near the historic entrance to the city known as Common Hall Lane; the original wharf through which stone for the minster was delivered before travelling up Stonegate to the site of the city’s landmark.

The river Ouse was for centuries the main highway of trade for the city and this week residents will see it back in action to aid the restoration of the city’s Guildhall.

The £20 million redevelopment of the Guildhall will see a business club installed  in the building.  There are concerns that taxpayers will face an ongoing burden following the withdrawal of commercial backers.

New contractor for historic Mansion House project confirmed

Mansion House Sept 2016

Mansion House Sept 2016

William Birch & Sons Ltd, York-based construction, refurbishment and restoration contractor, have been appointed to continue work on the York Mansion House’s historic restoration project.

External works have been taking place over the autumn including repairing the chimney stacks and removing old paint from the external stonework.

William Birch & Sons Ltd will be the company completing remaining internal works in the Mansion House and moving the Opening Doors project on. The business started life in York, building and restoring many of the city’s high profile properties that we all know today, including the York Minster Library, Fairfax House, Kings Manor, York Theatre Royal and the York Explore Library.

The family owned construction company have a historic connection with the Mansion House with both William Henry Birch (1921) and Jack Birch (1975) holding the position of Lord Mayor of York.

Last year the Mansion House received a grant of £1,198,700 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), as well as fundin g from City of York Council and donations to the restoration fund so the historic building can be restored. The ‘Opening Doors’ project, is the biggest investment in the Mansion House since it was built in the eighteenth century.

Work to start on historic Mansion House project

Works to restore the historic Mansion House will start Monday 11 January as the building sees its biggest investment since it was built in the eighteenth century.
Mansion House York

Mansion House York

The news comes after York based contractors William Anelay were awarded the contract to restore the Georgian townhouse and allow visitors to enjoy more of the building than ever before.

Scaffolding will appear outside the facade of the historic building whilst the works take place. The works were made possible after the Mansion House received a grant of £1,198,700 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), as well as funding from City of York Council and donations to the restoration fund.

The four main areas of the ‘Opening Doors’ restoration project are:

  • ·      Restoring the original kitchens to create a fully working eighteenth century kitchen and a modern kitchen allowing the house to continue hosting culinary events and functions.
  • ·      Improving displays, conservation and access to the civic collection of gold and silverware.
  • ·      Developing an integrated environmental and conservation plan for the structure, including installing an effective conservation heating system to minimise long-term damage to the contents and fabric of the building and reduce its carbon foot print.
  • ·      Preparing an oral history project, involving people past and present with a connection to the building.