Conservation in Action: Vaucluse House turrets complete


After an extraordinary few months, our Heritage and Conservation team have completed the re-construction of the stone turrets at Vaucluse House.

Having carefully assembled the new stone pieces using traditional mortar made with lime from local oyster shells, the turrets were capped with beautifully moulded lead and strengthened with stainless steel strappings and pins. These works will stabilise the turrets and protect them from the elements as well as intrusive plants and wildlife, ensuring their preservation for the next 100 years or more.

As well as using authentic local materials, the conservation of the turrets is distinguished by expert craftsmanship and the use of traditional construction methods, reminding us of the need to support and foster the development of these invaluable skills in younger generations.

  • View of sheet of lead with shape cut out.

    Lead laid out to be manually shaped to detail.

    Photo Maria Elena Ruggeri © Sydney Living Museums

  • Person shaping piece of lead around sandstone in outdoors settings.

    Leadworker manually shaping lead.

    Photo Maria Elena Ruggeri © Sydney Living Museums

  • Collection of grey-white shells.

    Oyster shells for production of lime mortar.

    Photo Maria Elena Ruggeri © Sydney Living Museums

  • View of open liln with wire shelves, the top shelf holding shells.

    Oyster shells to be fired in kiln for the production of lime mortar.

    Photo Maria Elena Ruggeri © Sydney Living Museums

  • View of newly restored turret, with lead molding.

    North-west turret works complete.

    Photo Maria Elena Ruggeri © Sydney Living Museums

  • Looking over a pair of sandstone turrets towards treetops and garden.

    View of completed turrets.

    Photo Maria Elena Ruggeri © Sydney Living Museums

About the Author

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

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