Kelbuild Ltd. have just completed the Investigative Work Contract on the fire ravaged St. Mel’s Cathedral in Longford. These works set out to determine ‘How to’ carry out the required restoration works in this flagship Cathedral.
Fire starting in the rear of the Cathedral on 25 December 2009 left only a shell behind and destroyed about 2/3 of the artefacts’ on display within the Cathedral.
During these investigative works, a time capsule was found and is with the National Museum.
- The Investigative works main focus was the safe removal of a heat damaged stone column and its replacement with a new cut stone column to match the original exactly.
- Purpose built structural hoist towers were fabricated and erected in front of the ‘Test Column’ with a trolley and gantry system above to winch the new base, drums and capital into position.
- All hoisting and positioning was carried out manually by Master Craftsmen .
- Other investigative works included tests for geo-thermal heating, ground conditions and existing construction make-up
- Kelbuild Ltd. also removed safely and stored any artefacts’, including plaster ‘Angel Heads’ from atop the columns, that remained on the site.
- An Open Day to the Public was organised through the Cathedral which was broadcast on the national television stations, with protective scaffoldings erected and Marshal Staff from Kelbuild Ltd. to ensure safety.