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Programme of preservation work at Magazine Gateway completed

Published on Thursday, April 22, 2021

External view of repaired Magazine Gateway building

A SIX-month project to carry out much-needed repairs and restoration work at one of Leicester’s oldest medieval buildings has finished.

The 15th century Magazine Gateway building, between Oxford Street and the De Montfort University campus, has undergone a series of remedial works including repointing and repairs to stonework, drainage improvements, and removal of vegetation and accumulated bird droppings.

The £200,000 programme of work, which began in October 2020, was done 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.

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

In its time the building has served as accommodation, a prison, a military building, gunpowder store and regimental museum, although it is now only opened to the public on special occasions organised by Leicester Museum Service.

It is a Grade 1 listed building and Scheduled Monument.

Leicester deputy city mayor for environment and transportation, Cllr Adam Clarke, is also the city’s heritage champion.

He said: “The damage caused by hundreds of years’ worth of weather, pollution and general wear and tear meant this work needed to be carried out to safeguard the future of what is one of the finest medieval buildings in Leicester.

“It has involved repairing or replacing parts of the stonework, and in some places repointing the stonework using mortar that is made of similar material to that used originally back in the 15th century.

“The project has also given 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 in future.

“It has been careful and painstaking work, but it is vital to ensure future generations will be able to enjoy this important historical landmark.”

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