Conservation - Current Projects

The London Temple of Mithras Update January 2018

Request a free electronic copy of our book 'Mithras - Reconstruction of a Roman Temple'

Following the successful completion of the Mithras project and the recently well-received public opening, PAYE felt it important to document the processes undertaken in relation to this unusual and complex story. To download an electronic copy of the PAYE published book produced on The London Temple of Mithras, please simply click here and fill out some basic details (so we know who you are).

Access to visit the Temple is free to all, but bookings must be completed in advance via

Mithras - Reconstruction of a Roman Temple
The London Temple of Mithras - Completed

HMS Victory

HMS Victory is best known as Admiral Lord Nelson's flagship which sailed during the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. It was actually first launched in 1765 and sailed for many years before being finally docked at No.2 Dock, Portsmouth in 1922. ‘She’ still officially remains a flagship of the First Sea Lord (the professional head of the UK’s Royal Navy and the whole Naval Service) and is technically the world's oldest naval ship still in commission.

PAYE Conservation are specifically involved in a programme to stabilise the progressive adverse movement of HMS Victory’s hull. When dry docked in Portsmouth, the ship was supported on 11 steel cradles and a large concrete keel plinth. The ship itself weighs over 2000 tonnes in solid Oak and Teak, and hasn’t been moved arrival. The existing steel cradles are spaced at equal distances along the length of the hull, with no consideration given to their alignment to the ships internal structure and so consequently, over time, the hull has slowly sagged between the support cradles.

The newly devised design will allow for the ships load to be shared between the keel and a more sympathetic support system. This will see the keel carrying approximately 60% of the load, based on keel measurements and calculations of movement between the support cradles.

Phase 2 will see PAYE return in July 2017 for a further 12 months work, to remove the 22 concrete pads in stages under the ships support system. This is needed to allow for a newly devised system comprised of x134 stainless steel props to be installed in structural locations around the ship. The new supports will aim to maintain the shape and stability of the structure, emulating the way it would be held if submerged in water. As the old support cradles are removed, PAYE will evaluate the condition of the stonework beneath and carry out any necessary conservation and restoration before the new props are installed.

HMS Victory - Overview
HMS Victory - Detail of proposed tooling.
HMS Victory - Antiquated support system.
HMS Victory - Original stone to match.

The Royal Academy/Burlington House

Burlington House is a Grade II* listed Italianate building designed by Sir James Pennethorne as headquarters for the University of London. The Royal Academy took over the main block of Burlington House in 1867 on a 999-year lease.

PAYE were commissioned initially to complete restoration works to the stone façade and repaving elements in the Burlington House section of the site. The façade works undertaken included some delicate conservation to both architectural detail and about a dozen standing figurative sculptures of great artists and architects. Cleaning techniques including the use of nebulus spray and both Doff and Jos. On the completion of cleaning a full inspection could be undertaken and a schedule of repairs devised. These repairs included mortar repair to areas which were either damaged or lost and stone replacement to include both ashlar indents and carved elements all executed in situ. This project is set to run over a 64 week programme with completion planned for early 2018.

The Royal Academy – Nebulus cleaning of the Façade
The Royal Academy – Before and After conservation cleaning

Cliveden South Terrace

The South Terrace is possibly the most significant architectural detail on the Cliveden Estate and had fallen into poor, possibly even dangerous condition. The terrace is accessed via a symmetrical staircase with three flights of steps to either side of the central sounding chamber, thought to date from as early as the 1720's. It underwent major reconstruction and alteration by Charles Barry during his wider restoration works in the 1850's, but this had once again fallen into poor condition...

Cliveden South Terrace Before
Cliveden South Terrace after
Cliveden South Terrace West Blind before
Cliveden South Terrace West Blind after
Cliveden East Staircase Before
Cliveden East Staircase After

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