The twelve decorative wrought iron panels of the Privy Gardens at Hampton Court Palace are known as the Tijou Screen, named after the master blacksmith and designer, Jean Tijou. Members of the Hall Conservation Ltd team have been closely involved with the Tijou Screen since 1995. Building on past experience, Historic Royal Palaces in collaboration with Hall Conservation Ltd and Martin Ashley Architects, have embarked on a ten year conservation project which began in 2011.
The current project is focused on fully documenting the condition of the screen year by year, so that the rate of decay can be measured and the efficacy of materials and treatments assessed objectively. Previous repairs had seen inappropriate materials being used to replace elements of the screen; the current project is focusing on conserving the screen in its current condition and replacing elements where necessary in appropriate materials.
Throughout the project and beyond, maintaining the paintwork and undertaking any necessary repairs is a key element of the on-going protection of this historically important example of decorative ironwork.
As part of the works over the last two years we have hosted 16 National Heritage Ironwork Group (NHIG) bursary students, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.