Conservation in action: Vaucluse House turrets - update
Recently, we completed a complex scaffold to allow our project team to get up close to the turrets. We have now made a detailed analysis of the condition of the 1830s stonework and the damage produced by the root system of two young Ficuses (fig trees) found there.
The merlons - the top sections of both turrets - were found to be in precarious condition, with severe weathering and large areas of stone and mortar loss, rendering them quite unstable. In addition, the root systems of the Ficuses were found to have travelled a long way through the structure, suggesting a long, slow growth period.
We carefully dismantled the top courses of the southwest turret and removed one of the Ficuses. This will help us better understand the construction of the turrets, which will then inform future decisions about ongoing stabilisation and conservation works.
These works are expected to be completed in late 2020.