Conservation in action: The turret stone has arrived!

Vaucluse House west turrets stabilisation and conservation works

 

We were very excited to receive the beautiful new replacement stone for the turrets at Vaucluse House this week. 

Following the detailed survey of each stone in both turrets, the project team concluded that the deterioration of the stonework was too advanced and that a comprehensive replacement was necessary.

For the past few weeks, the stonemasons have been working hard in their workshop to make new capping and merlons from carefully selected and quite large Pyrmont stone pieces from the Minister’s Stonework Program (MSP), using traditional methods and tools.

The masons created and followed templates that were based on the original 1830s profiles, replicating the turrets’ Gothic Revival detailing as originally envisaged by William Charles Wentworth and built by convict labourers.

A total of 49 pieces of stone weighing approximately 6 tonnes was delivered and craned into the worksite. Next they will be lifted up 30 metres to their final position on the west side of the house, where the intricate process of turret reconstruction will begin.
 

Watch

  • Working on stone turrets.

    Stone in early stages of processing

    Photo Maria Elena Ruggeri © Sydney Living Museums

  • Working on stone turrets.

    Stone processing using power tools

    Photo Maria Elena Ruggeri © Sydney Living Museums

  • Working on stone turrets.

    Manual stone processing tools

    Photo Maria Elena Ruggeri © Sydney Living Museums

  • Sandstone piece cut to shape of turret.

    New fabricated pieces ready for approval

    Photo Maria Elena Ruggeri © Sydney Living Museums

  • Working on stone turrets.

    New stone pieces on site

    Photo Maria Elena Ruggeri © Sydney Living Museums

  • Working on stone turrets.

    New stone on site

    Photo Maria Elena Ruggeri © Sydney Living Museums

  • Working on stone turrets.

    Old stone being removed for storage

    Photo Maria Elena Ruggeri © Sydney Living Museums

About the Author

Woman in yellow vest.
Maria Elena Ruggeri
Heritage Project Officer Capital Works
Maria Elena is the Heritage Project Officer, Capital Works at Sydney Living Museums.

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