Today, the first day of the Lent 2018 term, we celebrated the 'topping out' of the restoration project to the exterior of the Barry Buildings. The Master, accompanied by governor Bunt Ghosh and Chief Operating Officer Simon Yiend, fixed in place the last, highest finial at the apex of the west elevation of the Centre Block, marking the conclusion of a year's work to the exterior of Barry's iconic building.
Over the coming weeks the scaffolding on the remaining elevations will be taken down, revealing the Centre Block in all its restored glory by the start of the second half of term. All the terracotta lattice balustrades and some 60% of the pinnacles, cupolas and finials have been replaced, together with many other pieces of brick and stonework. This work has ensured the weather-proofing and integrity of the fabric of the Grade II star listed building for generations to come – in some areas the work has even improved on the original builders’ work. Until Easter scaffolding will remain around the Lantern whilst further specific refurbishment work is carried out. A number of old and failed terracotta items from the building have been retained and will be available for auction in due course.