Hampton Court Palace: Clore Learning Centre Gate 

How beautiful is this leaf design? It’s part of a unique, golden pear tree archway that leads to the Clore Learning Centre at Hampton Court Palace. Originally created by Scottish artist, Jill Watson, the golden gateway has the formality and grandeur to reflect a royal residence, whilst honouring centuries of wonderful gardens at the palace.  

J & JW Longbottom were commissioned to repair a section that had been accidentally damaged. It was a tricky job, requiring a high level of skill and patience to ensure the repaired section blended in to the original design. Having assessed the material the sculpture was made of, we decided the best technique would be brazing, carefully inserting a strengthening rod first. Brazing is a traditional method used to join two or more metal surfaces, by allowing molten metal to flow into the joint. 

Careful attention was given to the outer part of the repair to ensure the overall finish reflected the rest of the branch and was not too smooth, ultimately achieving an invisible repair. 

The section has been returned to its home at the Learning Centre, to be admired for many years to come. 

The Clore Learning Centre ‘Pear Tree gate’.

©Hampton Court Palace

Jill Watson (sculptor)