The Royal Parks commissioned Cliveden Conservation to conserve eight historic listed tombs within Brompton Cemetery which varied in construction and material
Summary of the conservation work carried out
Conservators removed vegetation from each of the tombs before undertaking cleaning trials. Conservation cleaning methods included the use of brushes and water, ThermaTech pressure steam cleaning, and poultices to remove the build-up of black sulphation.
Open and failed joints were carefully raked out and repointed using an appropriate lime mortar. Throughout the process conservators took samples to create bespoke lime mortar mixes to match the original surfaces in both colour and texture to carry out seamless repairs.
Tomb of Emmeline Pankhurst: The ironstone tomb presented conservation challenges due to its fragility. Whilst conservators were successful in the cleaning of the base further cleaning and repairs to the cross have been postponed pending further consultation. The broken urn was cleaned and repaired with a resin adhesive and the crack filled with a sympathetic coloured mortar to create a cohesive repair.
Tomb of Robert Coombes: Replacement heads and arms were carved in Portland stone and fixed in place. The broken rowing scull on one of the figures was cast in Jesmonite and painted. Mortar repairs were carried out to reinstate missing feet and pedestal details to all four figures.
Tomb of Clements Family: Carved stone replacements were fitted to the stone finials to west and east elevations plus one gablet. Failed concrete flaunching was removed from the monument base and brickwork below was made good using lime mortar on the west elevation.
Tomb of Elizabeth Moffat: Plinth backing was repaired and refixed with stainless steel fixings. Lime mortar was applied to consolidate damaged corners of the cornice and carved figurative details.
Tomb of Emily Adney Bond: Weeds and loose soil were removed from the base of the tomb. To prevent further growth, conservators installed a board framework lined with a membrane and filled it with gravel.
Tomb of Harvey Lewis: Conservation treatment included stone indent repairs to the roof, keep and entrance. The door was disassembled, treated for rust and painted. The threshold stone was removed and rebuilt with original bricks and lime mortar. Surrounding posts were treated for rust, displaced posts were rebidded and new posts were sand cast to replace missing ones.
Tomb of Philip Nowell: Damaged areas were repaired using lime mortar sympathetic to Portland stone. Replacement carved stone indents were installed to replicate the original pinnacle details.
Tomb of Valentine Cameron Prinsep: Samples of lime putty and stone dust mortars were taken to match the original pink marble and red and grey granite surfaces to carry out repairs to the broken column and other areas of loss.
Conservation cleaning has greatly improved the appearance of all eight tombs. The sensitive repair of the monuments has been achieved using unique lime putty and mortar mixes to match the original colour and texture of each individual tomb.
The Royal Parks