HAS have taken on several projects for the Historic Royal Palaces charity including various projects at Hampton Court Palace, South East London.
In 2015 HAS begun work in the historic Great Hall. This impressive building at Hampton Palace is the only surviving hall built by Henry VIII. It was constructed between 1532 and 1535 to accommodate Henry VIII’s court. To assemble the full Royal Court (over 1000 people) Henry needed a large building. It was for this reason that the large hall 106ft long by 40ft wide was constructed. The Great Hall is also one of England’s oldest theatres. Shakespeare’s company ‘The Kings Men’ performed over Christmas and New Year 1603-04.
When conservation work was being completed on the windows of the Great Hall it was decided that the priceless tapestries that live there would remain in situ, with the risks of placing them in storage considered too great. The works were first covered in a protective material, before specially commissioned copies were hung over allowing the Great Hall to keep its previous appearance. HAS erected a 7-storey independent scaffold to cover the large stained- glass window in order to suppress dust and protect the tapestries further.
These tapestries were commissioned by Henry VIII in the mid 16th Century. The depict the story of Abraham. At the time of production they were extraordinarily expensive and communicated political messages in their iconography and wealth of the English court by their use of materials. They are now valued in the same insurance bracket as The Crown Jewels- priceless!
HAS also had to remove asbestos cement from underneath a large number of slabs on the floor. Each slab had to be carefully removed and labelled. Each slab was given a number corresponding to the place it had been taken from the floor, to ensure that it was returned to its original position when the work was completed and it was replaced. HAS removed, numbered, and returned approximately 60 large slabs back to their original place on the floor.
This project took three weeks and involved three operatives on site. HAS closely liaised with archaeologists and national trust officers during the project due to the historical significance of the building and its contents. HAS had to work with extreme care and a high level of attention to detail and of a precise nature. We were working approximately two feet away from these priceless tapestries.
HAS continue to be the trusted and approved contractor for Historic Royal Palaces. We have been involved in works allowing the rewiring programme currently underway. HAS have been at Hampton Court for three separate jobs in the last month (October 2017)
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