Work has started on a hi-tech structural survey of Herne Bay’s landmark clock tower. Three-dimensional laser scanning is being used on the clock tower, and engineers will also be making a hands-on inspection of every stone, fitting and fixture. Part of the survey will include the use of ‘rectified photography’, enabling an accurate scaled image of the clock tower to be made.
Following the detailed inspection, a report will be submitted to the city council, containing recommendations and cost estimates for future repairs and stonework replacement. Standing at nearly 25 metres tall, the clock tower was built in 1837 as a gift to Herne Bay from town benefactor, Anne Thwaites. The clock tower is made of Portland stone over a brick core and built in the style of a Greek temple.
The council’s senior surveyor, Colin Pengelly, said:
“Since it was built, the clock tower has been exposed to the rigours of the marine environment. Some areas have been eroded by the constant wind and salt-laden atmosphere and require remedial attention. We also need to look at some earlier, inappropriate repairs that need attention. The clock tower is not suspected of being in any immediate danger, but given its iconic importance to the town it is essential that the council knows what resources will be required to ensure its ongoing survival.”
Stonewest of Croydon has been appointed to carry out the £10,000 survey. The company has previously carried out work on St Paul’s Cathedral and St Pancras railway station.