HM Tower of London: Beauchamp Tower
The iconic Tower of London is not only one of our capital’s most famous landmarks, but also a World Heritage Site. A castle, fortress, royal place and infamous prison, the Tower is steeped in history, with its origins dating back to 1066, when William the Conqueror started to build the White Tower as a stronghold and gateway to the city.
In 2019, we were delighted to be asked to produce a new set of drainage channels and grates to match existing ironwork, as part of an access improvement project at Beauchamp Tower. Beauchamp Tower sits to the west of Tower Green and was built during the reign of Edward I as part of the Tower’s inner defensive wall. It takes its name from Thomas Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, who was imprisoned here at the end of the 14th century for rebelling against King Richard II. Many other prisoners spent their last days in this tower and some carved graffiti into its thick walls, ensuring they would be remembered after death.
We were commissioned by the Tower’s Surveyor of the Fabric department and worked with their consulting architects, Radley House Partnership, and their maintenance contractor, Sykes & Sons Ltd, on the project. The channel drain (the U-shaped section that the grate sits in) wasn’t the same as our standard design, but after checking our extensive collection we found a pattern that matched theirs exactly. The grate that went with this channel pattern had one row of holes too many and due to the historical significance of the building, we were asked to make a bespoke grate. Our experienced engineers were able to create a new pattern, then grates were cast at the foundry to match the existing ones. The channels were made to the exact lengths needed to ensure a very precise and neat appearance. Finally, we fitted an outlet to the bottom of the channel to allow connection to a drain.