The 17ft (5.2m) high statue made of Coade artificial stone, on top of a 133ft (40.5m) high column, commemorates Waterloo general Lord Rowland Hill. It was dedicated to Gen Rowland Hill, who was born in Shropshire and served as second-in-command to the Duke of Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo, and later succeeded the duke as Commander in Chief of British forces. The first stone was laid in 1814 and took two years to complete. The Grade-II listed column is the tallest Doric column in the world, & Shrewsbury’s most prominent landmark.
Premises Services carried out emergency works to cordon off the column to protect passers-by, after a piece of masonry fell off the statue in April 2012. The statue had suffered from prolonged exposure to the elements, in particular frost action, which caused extensive damage to the artificial Coade stone and previous repair work over the decades.
Premises Services organised a survey of the statue by specialist sculpture conservation and restoration specialists Taylor Pearce. Based upon this report, Shropshire Council opted for in-situ repairs of the existing Coade stone statue of Lord Hill, which was considered a cheaper cost than removing the statue and installing a new one.
Premises Services were engaged to project manage the repair works, and subsequently appointed a team of specialist, including conservation architect Philip Belchere, Apex Scaffolding Designers and Thomas Consulting (structural engineers) to assist Premises Services. Premises Services were responsible for commissioning the repair works via two competitive tenders, for the access scaffolding, and conservation repair works, as well as contract administration throughout the duration of the project.
During September 2013 Jarvis Scaffolding commenced erection of the temporary access platforms to accommodate the works, and enclose the statue to help prevent displacement of further debris. As consequence, the cordon around the Column was reduced.
The repairs were carried out by a specialist conservation contractor Grosvenor Construction Limited, which commenced works on site during April 2014 and it took almost 4 months to complete.