Braintree District Council working to preserve iconic landmark

WORK continues to conserve an iconic Braintree landmark with the installation of the new stone sections to the upper Clock Tower.

Braintree District Council is leading on works to preserve the clock tower of the Grade II listed Braintree Town Hall after a recent survey revealed structural damage.

The Council consulted with Essex County Council and English Heritage to approve the method and materials used for the repairs. Now stone quarried from the Isle of Portland in Dorset will be brought to the site to ensure that the building is maintained to the original specification commissioned by the Courtauld family in 1926.

Cllr Joanne Beavis, cabinet member for communities said: “It will be wonderful to see the clock tower brought back to its former glory – this really will be the icing on the cake for all the improvement works that we have carried out on the Town Hall. We look forward to its grand unveiling in the spring.”

The clock tower’s steel frame has been rusting causing the surrounding stone columns to crack. Repair work is part of a wider project to refurbish the town hall – which has included reconfiguring, repairing and decorating the downstairs rooms and Lounge; installing new lighting; cleaning all the interior and exterior stonework and repairing the exterior gates. The work has been undertaken by principal contractor, Universal Stone, a leading specialist in building conservation and restoration based in Great Dunmow and established in 1939. Other commissions have included Hampton Court Palace, Royal Festival Hall, Windsor Castle and the Bank of England.

All works are scheduled for completion by the end of March 2012.

The Town Hall remains open and will be available for meetings, weddings, baby naming ceremonies, funeral wakes and corporate bookings – to book call 01376 557776.

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A public open day and wedding fair will be held on April 14 to showcase the building - to book a stand at the Wedding Fair call 01376 552525 ext 2362.