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Plans submitted for extensive repairs to Gladstone’s Library

02 Jan 2024 2 minute read
Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden, Flintshire. Photo via Google

Emily Ash, local democracy reporter

Plans have been submitted for extensive repairs to be carried out on Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden.

The Grade I listed building is home to around 25,000 books, and under the proposals may undergo significant repairs.

A heritage statement in the planning documents for Flintshire Council, written and prepared by Ainsley Gommon Architects explains that the library “houses a collection of highly significant books and documents and the proposed works are seen as fundamental to the ongoing maintenance and sustainability” to the building.

The report detailed that inspections identified issues with the roof, and another identified “serious settlement of the structure” to the tower porch.

It also said: “Memorial Grant funding is now available to address the extensive repairs identified to the slate roof and tower porch for the first time since the building was constructed 120 years ago.”

Structural concerns

The issues highlighted, which are assumed to require listed building consent, include structural concerns to the entrance porch where there is evidence of “significant structural movement and cracking”. The proposals acknowledge that work could be disruptive to the entrance, and so the library is “devising a carefully planned access strategy” for visitors and staff.

Another issue relates to roof repairs. The document said: “While the natural slate roof has served its purpose over the 120 year lifespan, ferrous fixings, failing slates, defective gutters, flat roofs and other defective leadworks will be addressed with the grant works as the roof is reaching a point where major repairs are now essential.”

Stonework

Other proposed fixes involve stonework, with the document adding: “Repairs to parapets and stone chimneys at roof level will involve inspection and repair of lead flashings with stone pointing proposed to protect joints as this is causing spalling of stones.”

The significance of the affected areas was also looked into in the report, and “recognised that roof replacement and restoration proposals must be carefully considered to avoid negative impacts on the historic significance and character of the heritage asset”.


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