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Home Blog edit ALM restores historic Hopper in Kensington Garden

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Architectural Lead and Metalwork Limited are specialists in lead work conservation and restoration.
We can provide a complete design service for our client, based in London, we operate throughout the UK and Europe on all types of projects.
We have over 40 years’ experience of working on a variety of contracts.
Our specialty is the lead working on a number of historic and listed buildings.
Here you will find case studies, ideas and articles, also a few examples of the work we do.

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ALM restores historic Hopper in Kensington Garden

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This is a photo of a lead hopper restoration we carried out for the Serpentine Sacklers Gallery in London’s Kensington Gardens.

The grade 2 listed building, originally known as The Magazine, was built in 1805 in the style of a Palladian villa and used as a gunpowder depot for the army in the event of a 'foreign invasion or popular uprising', but has not housed munitions for the last 50 years. It occupies a prominent position on West Carriage Drive, running from Exhibition Road to Bayswater Road.

The hopper heads on the building were extremely fragile due to their age which, although not verified, possibly date from the reign of King George III as the insignia and date suggest.

For this restoration we had to firstly remove the several layers of paint that had been added over the decades. The main body of the hopper had to then be delicately removed from the back plate as the lead backing had deteriorated beyond a restorable condition. The body of the hopper then needed to be carefully dress back to its original form and strengthened before a new back plate could be attached.

The Hopper heads were then re-installed on the building along with new lead rainwater pipes and collars (hand cast by us) replacing the old cast iron ones.