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Preservation work to be done on Magazine Gateway

The restoration and repair work of one of Leicester’s oldest medieval buildings is due to begin.

The Magazine Gateway building is a 15th century structure between Oxford Street and the De Montfort University campus. It will undergo a series of remedial works including repointing and repairs to the stonework, drainage improvements, and the removal of plant-life and accumulated bird droppings.

Experts will also have the chance to conduct close up investigations to determine the condition of the medieval building and make plans for any further repair work that may be required.

Dating back to around the 1400’s the Magazine is an important local landmark and was originally the main gateway of a much bigger wall, which enabled access to The Newarke nearby.

Over the years, the building has served as a prison, a military building, gunpowder store, regimental museum, and even accommodation. Now, it is only opened to the public on special occasions organised by Leicester Museum Service.

Back in November 2019, a £200,000 programme of work to repair the Grade 1 listed building was announced, after work between Leicester City Council and Historic England.

On Monday, October 26, work will begin and will continue until March 2021.

The Magazine, Leicester – Image Credit: Daveleicuk, Wikimedia Commons

There will be an overnight closure of one lane of Oxford Street northbound from 9pm on Wednesday, October 28, to 6am on Thursday, October 29, due to scaffolding being erected around the Scheduled Monument.

Leicester City Council’s Cllr Adam Clarke, the deputy city mayor for environment and transportation, and the city’s heritage champion said: “The Magazine Gateway is one of the finest medieval buildings in Leicester, but unfortunately hundreds of years of withstanding the weather, pollution and general wear and tear mean that we need to carry out this restoration.

“We know that some parts of it need stonework being repaired or replaced, while in other areas it might simply need repointing using mortar that is similar to that used originally. It also gives us the chance to get up close and investigate it further while that work is underway, to determine what other remedial work might be needed.

“It is painstaking work, but is necessary to ensure historic landmarks like this can be enjoyed by future generations.”

The remedial works are being carried out in conjunction with Historic England, who in 2019 produced a detailed condition report on the building, and De Montfort University, on whose campus the Magazine Gateway forms a boundary.

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