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R.G. Parkins & Partners Ltd - Consulting Civil & Structural Engineers

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PORTFOLIO > Historic Buildings

CASE STUDY

Ashton Memorial

The Ashton Memorial in Lancaster’s Williamson Park was commissioned by Lord Ashton as a tribute to his late wife. It was designed by John Belcher and completed in 1909 and is a landmark which dominates the Lancaster skyline. The iconic building features two magnificent granite stairways facing across the city to Morecambe bay.

After collapse of one of the steps during 2011 R G Parkins & Partners Ltd were commissioned by Lancaster City Council to undertake investigations into the cause of the collapse. Inspections and surveys, which included some opening up of the fabric, were necessary to ascertain the form of construction and causes of failure of the steps.

The individual granite steps were supported from a grillage of iron joists infilled with clinker concrete, itself supported on timber decking slung between the joists. The iron joists had all been badly affected by corrosion to the extent that significant loss of section was apparent. They were eventually replaced using an in-situ reinforced concrete slab spanning between the dry stone flank walls to carry the steps over the substantial void beneath.

The Grade 1 Listed Building status demanded very careful attention to detail and specialist stonemasons were employed to ensure that final repair and placement of the steps was in-keeping with the original work.

Under a separate appointment R G Parkins & Partners Ltd also provided CDM Co-ordinator services. As a result of the very public environment, proximity of public footpaths and very sensitive nature of the site great care was taken to plan the works. The one-piece granite steps were significant weights which were handled with craneage and the project was completed without incident.

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