2022 brings to a close Shepley Engineers restoration work on what is thought to be the largest expanse of cast iron roofs in Europe, possibly even the world. The 26 individual cast iron-tiled roofs refurbished cover some of the most historic parts of the Palace of Westminster. They were installed in the mid-1800s, using cutting-edge technology at the time. But generations of wear-and-tear meant that the roofs were no longer watertight, causing damage to the fabric of the building, and were in urgent need of repair.
For the first time since they were installed in the mid-nineteenth century, tens of thousands of individual components were removed and transported to our restoration workshop in Sheffield. Here they were stripped back to base metal and assessed. Where elements could be repaired and returned to the roof they were brought back. New components were cast to the original design, if repairs were not feasible. As the project progressed and the skills of the engineers developed, more of the original metalwork could be restored, rather than being recast. By the end of the project up to 90% of original components were being restored and reinstalled.
You can read more about the Speakers comments on the Parliament.uk website here.