Tower of London Scaffold Tour

This morning I was lucky enough to be able to join a group of people getting a close-up view of some conservation work currently being undertaken on Bowyer Tower and adjacent walls.

Most visitors to the Tower of London probably don’t have a thought about the maintenance of the fabric that’s needed, not thinking about the deterioration caused by hundreds of years of London’s weather. A sizeable section on the north side was destroyed by a disastrous fire in the Armoury in 1841. The construction techniques used then, as well as repairs made during the 1960s have contributed to damage to the fabric of the building – in parts the walls have become very fragile indeed. When the work is complete it is planned for both the Flint and Bowyer Towers to be opened to the public for the first time, along with the adjoining wall walk.

View to Bowyer Tower

This is the view from Flint Tower along the walkway towards Bowyer Tower.

Stonework

The 1960s hard cement pointing has been causing problems and here it has been chopped out ready for repointing using more suitable materials.

Rubble centre and rusting iron strips

Behind the stone facing is a rubble centre to the walls. There are iron strips laid between some of the courses, for no apparent structural purpose, they are now rusting and damaging the structure of the walls.

Roof

The asphalt roof has been removed and will be replaced with lead.

Top of tower

The top of the tower surrounded by scaffolding. Note the C19 gargoyle and grotesque.

The group just about to descend from the top of the tower.

The group just about to descend from the top of the tower.

Masonry join

This area of the curtain wall clearly shows where the C19 rebuild meets the original medieval stonework (much of this part of the Tower of London was rebuilt following a disastrous fire in 1841).

Roman tiles

Here’s some of the original Roman wall reused in the medieval structure.

Lastly a few general pictures to show the scale of the job being done. There’s an awful lot of scaffolding here!

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