16th century structural timbers
Insect infestation and decay
Highly complex structural challenge
Sophisticated engineering solutions
Close liaison with design team
Ward & Cos work at Hampton Court has centred on the Chapel Royal, and in particular the well-publicised structural problems with the Royal Pew.
The principal structural timbers supporting the Pew are a significant survival of the Day Closets constructed by Cardinal Wolsey (1514-1528). The last major refurbishment was carried out to the designs of Sir Christopher Wren.
Ward & Co worked very closely with the design team to develop workable solutions to this highly complex structural problem. The Pew is in fact a very large gallery with a long front composite beam, and it was progressive failure of this that was the root of the problem. The complication arose because of very fine panelling and paintings by Sir James Thornhill.