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Stabilising the Round Tower at Windsor Castle
This paper endeavours to describe the causes, investigations and remedial works carried out to stabilise the Round Tower at Windsor Castle following the significant structural movement in 1987. The nature of the tower, designed to keep soldiers out, meant that significant logistical and practical problems had to be considered, overcome and designed out before the technical hurdles could be surmounted. These obstacles resulted in what would normally be a conservation project becoming a large civil engineering project using plant, equipment and skills rather alien to the conservation world. The project overcame the obstacles and differing approaches to construction work, with both ends of the spectrum learning from each other to produce a successful outcome: to stabilise the iconic symbol of British monarchy for another 900 years. The project was carried out in full view of the public, as the castle remained open throughout, with work interrupted for official and state occasions and site meetings disrupted by the Band of the Guards marching past, making it a unique experience for all concerned.
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Clive Dawson has worked on historic and sensitive structures for most of his career, starting with a stint at a well-respected contractor in Guildford carrying out work for Gilbert Williams on Goddard’s and a number of well-known houses, including Sutton Place, Clandon Park and Hatchlands. After being talked into becoming the resident engineer for the Round Tower Stabilisation Project, he worked on the monitoring and structural design with Doug Murray and Jack Dawson at Hockley & Dawson and then spent the next six years at Windsor Castle, initially on the stabilisation project and then the archive provision, which finished as the fire broke out in 1992. After spending the night of the fire at the castle to give advice when required, he spent the next two years with Cliff Nursey on site, working on the stabilisation, salvage and initial phases of the reconstruction. Clive has subsequently worked on a number of significant buildings and structures including the Monument, the Wind Tunnels and Airship Hanger at Farnborough, Turner’s House, Master’s House in Ledbury, Portsmouth and Rochester Cathedrals, Dover Castle and Westminster Abbey for English Heritage, Hardwick Hall, Calke Abbey and Tattershall Castle for the National Trust, and the Tower of London, Kensington Palace, Banqueting House, Kew Palace and Pagoda and Hampton Court for Historic Royal Palaces. Clive is a trustee of the Friends of the Georgian Society of Jamaica and regularly visits to provide advice and talks on the repair and conservation of structures both large and small. He is also a trustee of the GeM Scholarship, set up in memory of Gloria Trevisan and Marco Gottardi, both killed in the Grenfell fire, to provide conservation experience in the UK for Italian conservation graduates.