Chimney Conservation Tour

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Extensive conservation work was carried out at Castell Coch in the summer of 2018. Cadw had been monitoring water damage for a number of years and efforts to fix the problem were unsuccessful. After further surveys highlighted weaknesses in the chimney stacks, it was decided that significant conservation work was required.

Cadw offered tours of the castle to view the work and I was lucky enough to attend one in December 2018. The roof was accessed via part of the castle, which is normally closed to visitors. The scaffolding provided a great view of the chimneys, the courtyard and over the village.

View of the courtyard in Castell Coch

The work involved dismantling and rebuilding the chimneys to install a lead tray which will stop the water entering the castle and damaging the interior. One of the chimney stacks is thought to weigh 50 tonnes!

Chichester Stoneworks were brought in to complete the work. They explain on their website how they salvaged as much original stone as possible.

Every effort was made to salvage and re-use as much of the original stone as possible. The salvaged stones were cleaned, logged and marked ready for re-installation to their original orientation and placings. The new stone was quarried locally, worked by our masons in Chichester and returned to Castell Coch for installation by our team on site.

Specialist scaffolding was required for such a unique building.

Close up of scaffolding on Castell Coch

It was fantastic to see the roofs up close and enjoy such a unique view of the castle. It was incredibly windy and a little unnerving but the staff from Chichester Stoneworks were very reassuring.

Close up of roof tiles with people taking in the background

Cadw have more information about the project on their website.

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About the author

Jack is the editor of CastellCoch.com and Tongwynlais.com.