Going back as far as the late 70’s Bakers have been carrying out conservation works to the medieval castle ruins in Saffron Walden. The castle comprises of the substantial ruined walls of a Norman keep which are exposed to the weather and constantly under threat from further deterioration.
The restoration and conservation work carried out by Bakers over the past eight years has stabilised the flint-rubble walls, making it possible to safely open the Castle ruins to public.
The internal arch and pier were rebuilt to provide greater stability to the structure and the visible wall surfaces were stabilised by replacing cement mortar with lime mortar. Bakers also installed soft capping, comprising grass turf to the top of the castle walls to help prevent further erosion caused by the adverse weather conditions.
The soft capping installed by Bakers is thought to be the first of its kind in East Anglia, which consists of harvested natural turf, over a layer of loam soil, secured in place using wooden pegs.
Soft capping acts as a natural thermal blanket, reducing the effects of frost damage, rainwater caught in the soft capping will later evaporate back into the atmosphere, rather than washing down the walls and being absorbed into the masonry which is vulnerable to damage in freezing conditions.
Bakers also installed a new LED lighting system which highlights the castle’s prominent position on the historic town skyline at night.
Bakers Contracts Manager, Adrian Ward said;
“We are delighted, after many years of hard work by our dedicated and experienced craftsmen, to have finally completed the extensive conservation works to the ancient walls at Walden Castle, which can now be open to the public to explore and enjoy.”
To read an article about the castle and its restoration on the Historic England website click here.