Monument plans revealed in full glory
The original plans of the iconic Wallace Monument building by the building’s designer, architect J.T. Rochead have been conserved to reveal their stunning details. The plans, dating from 1862 and produced by Rochead in response to a competition for the design of a national monument, are preserved at Stirling Council Archives.
Staff at the Archives had noticed that over time and with the handling that they have received over their 150 year life, the plans had become rather grubby and some of the more fragile ones were in a delicate state. The plans in their original folder were sent to the Scottish Conservation Studio at Hopetoun House, South Queensferry where they were assessed by their specialist team of conservation staff and work began on their conservation.
Helen Creasey, Paper Conservator at the studio, outlined the processes involved in the job: -“The Wallace Monument plans had been folded and gathered into a binding, making them difficult to access and read. After cutting them out of the covers we were able to treat them to improve their condition. Some of the plans were heavily soiled; after the dirt was removed they looked much brighter. Three of the plans, which had tracing paper adhered on top of a soft thicker paper, had very crumpled and torn ends. These three took a considerable amount of time to clean, straighten and repair using Japanese tissue and wheat starch paste.”
The 18 cleaned plans were returned in a new acid-free folder, each one housed in an archival quality sleeve to allow ease of handling and to prevent further damage when they are accessed. The original binding has also been preserved.
Pam McNicol, Council Archivist commented “We are delighted to be able ensure that these wonderful plans are conserved for posterity as part of our ongoing programme of preservation and care for the Council’s historic records. The plans are superb and show the layout of the building from foundations to the intricate detail of the carvings on the walls and lantern. We hope that anyone interested in the monument will come and see the plans. All visitors to the Archives receive a warm welcome and whatever assistance they require from our friendly and knowledgeable professional staff”
The plans and all other archival material are available to view at Stirling Council Archives, all are welcome and access is FREE.
5 Borrowmeadow Road
Tel: 01786 450745
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