Repairs needed to Towneley Hall ceiling

Towneley HallTowneley Hall
Towneley Hall | jpimedia
Urgent repairs are needed to a ceiling in Towneley Hall which collapsed in 2018.

In April 2018, a section of ceiling to the stairwell above the Jacobean staircase in the stately home collapsed, fortunately during the early hours when the building was unoccupied.

Burnley Council, which is responsible for the historic home built in around 1400, has now received a planning application to carry out the work.

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Following the collapse, it was agreed that the remainder of the ceiling would be monitored in relation to any further deterioration, and in early November last year, new cracks were identified extending from the original failed area.

A scaffold was erected within the stairwell to protect users of the stairwell from falling debris in the event of a further collapse. At the time of the collapse, the matter was brought to the attention of Historic England.

A spokesman for Burnley Council partners Liberata said in a statement to the council: "Due to the fact that further cracking has been identified since the original collapse and the evidence of a substandard repair that has been undertaken, it is impossible to guarantee the integrity of the remainder of the ceiling from further collapse.

"It is therefore proposed to renew the entire ceiling rather than attempting to undertake a patch repair. This will be undertaken by carefully isolating the perimeter cornice detail by cutting the ceiling at the abutment with the cornice.

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Stainless steel concealed fixings will be installed into the cornice at pre-determined centres to secure the detail. A silicone cast of the original ceiling rose will be taken to enable a replacement to be made.

"The existing plaster and laths to the entire ceiling will then be carefully removed to expose the original timber floor joist. An inspection of the joist will be undertaken prior to renewal of the ceiling."