Introduction

A country house and castle near Drewsteignton, Devon, Drogo is the last castle to be built in England. Designed by the renowned architect Edwin Lutyens it is a Grade I listed building, however was already leaking water through the roof and into the walls before its completion in 1930. In 2014 a 5 year, £11m restoration programme was embarked on to repair the roof, repoint the walls and replace the windows to make the building watertight.

SRK were appointed to provide the National Trust with their access requirements and chose to use the HAKI Universal System on all three phases. This was comprised of a fully boarded scaffold 20 metres high to all sides and with the structure being so high, buttressing and ground anchors were also needed to maintain the stability of the scaffold.

About the project

The roof consisted of 750mm HAKI beams, but with a span of 38m a large tie cord had to be incorporated into the truss. With track installed to both sides of the scaffold the roof was built from the gable end access scaffold and was rolled out and fixed safely into place. The roof sheeting was then pulled through, working from both side elevations leaving no need for any operative to climb the roof.

Later in the project this type of roof came into its own when materials which were too heavy to be carried in or out were lowered onto the roof by mobile cranes.

There was a requirement for a gantry crane to be designed, supplied and installed. This was achieved by cantilevering steel beams from the scaffolding and forming its own runway, enabling the two tonne electric gantry crane to be manoeuvred remotely from the roof top, lifting each stone in to place.

The first two phases were erected together, requiring a staggering 24,700 tubes, weighing 544 tonnes. In November of 2016 we were awarded the third phase of the castle and this was completed by six scaffolders within a ten week period.