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.

ALM restores historic Hopper in Kensington Garden

ALM restores historic Hopper in Kensington Garden

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.

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The good, the bad and the ugly of a Lead roof

The good, the bad and the ugly of a Lead roof
Lead roofs can be targeted by metal thieves, it can be very expensive to fit and slow to install, it also requires a timber base to be stepped.    Although there is a good argument to use it, lead flashing places extra stress on the gutters and roof line of any house. If lead flashing is not installed perfectly, it can widen cracks in the foundations of a home because of its density and weight.Operatives will need regular checks on their blood levels whilst working with lead, Lead supplies are lower than they have ever been and this has driven the cost of lead up.

The History of Lead roofing

Lead was one of the earliest metals discovered by the human race and was in use by 3000 B.C. Lead and copper were the first types of metal to be used regularly in roofing. Both materials became popular in Europe. Flat-seamed copper was first used on cupolas and church domes in England in the 1700s.

Lead was first used to replace shingles or woods where they would not fit on awkwardly shaped roofs during this same time period Lead is not at all easily corroded, or eaten away.

Unlike iron and steel, it does not need protection by painting. Underneath the film, lead is a bright, shiny bluish-white metal, when you scrape it you notice how soft lead is. It is this malleability that makes it easy to squeeze or roll lead into different shapes.

The very long life of a Lead roof

The very long life of a Lead roof
Guaranteed for 25 years, most have a lifespan of at least 60 years, and many examples of it lasting over 100 years. Lead is malleable, making it easy to install, but strong enough to avoid wind-lift, it is weather tight and requires a low level of maintenance, and it can be installed in most weather conditions. It’s suitable for valleys, flashings, traditional builds and conservation areas, and can form an attractive design feature, lead is flexible and adapts well to awkward detailing.

replacement of an ornamental cast lead ocular window Hemlock Road, Acton, W9

replacement of an ornamental cast lead ocular window Hemlock Road, Acton, W9
Case Study showing the manufacturer and replacement of an ornamental cast lead ocular window.


We were called in by Len Goodwin from All Metal Roofing on behalf of Apollo to assess damage to some stolen/damaged ornamental cast lead, to the ocular windows on the dome roof of the School.

Commissioned planter

Commissioned planter

Architectural Lead and Metalwork in collaboration with Stephen C Markham Collection were commissioned by the Lead Contractors Association to hand-craft this Lead Garden Planter dedicated to Mr Ray Robertson in appreciation of 24 years service to the industry.

Bespoke Copper

Architectural Lead and Metalwork were commissioned to make bespoke Copper planters and benches for a London restaurant

Canterbury Hopper


Architectural Lead & Metalwork at the Enviro Lead stand - RCI Show Coventry 2019.


Picture showing one of our Hoppers - HRP 30 after being bossed using the wooden form that is sitting alongside the finished Hopper.

In the foreground are some of the different types of welding styles, and in the background are Lead panels with decorative lead finishes, made in our workshop.


Lincoln Cathedral - Heritage Skills Festival 2017

Lincoln Cathedral - Heritage Skills Festival 2017