Norwich Castle

Restoration of famous castle relies on monitoring data

Survey Solutions was commissioned to undertake structural monitoring of the external facades of the famous Keep at Norwich Castle. The monitoring forms part of an ambitious project to restore the Keep to its former glory as a medieval palace. The plans include the reinstatement of the Keep’s main Norman floor and great hall. As part of the ongoing project, Survey Solutions has also undertaken a topographical land survey of the castle and provided various floor plans and sections internally.

The project was summed up by the Chief Curator at Norfolk Museums Service saying “essentially we have one of the great medieval masterpieces in Norwich Castle, it’s one of the most important castles of the whole of the medieval period in Europe and we are looking to put back the missing elements which have decayed over the years or have been ripped out in earlier phases of the castle’s life, and restore lost elements relating to the original construction.”

Although the majority of the work will be internal alterations, there is a need to monitor the stability of the overall structure externally whilst the work is being undertaken; this is where Survey Solutions’ expertise becomes invaluable.

In line with the Structural Engineer’s specification, around 30 reflective targets were installed on all four sides of the Keep. This was particularly difficult as the only way to position the targets was to abseil from the top of the Keep. The targets will be precisely measured once a month for the duration of the project. Before every round of monitoring takes place, a control network outside the area of influence is precisely levelled and referenced to confirm the stability of the base data. When completed, each round of measurements is compared to previous observations with any changes highlighted.


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