Westgate gets a new roof

The Westgate, one of Winchester’s favourite landmarks, will shortly be swathed in scaffolding in preperation for important repair work.

The existing lead roof, laid down when the building originally opened as a museum in 1898, is to be replaced and recycled. A new sheet-lead roof will laid down in its place. The roofing project will require the temporary closure of the main arch to pedestrians whilst it is used as a builder’s compound. However, the work will not inconvenience museum visitors as it is scheduled to take place during the museum’s annual winter closedown.


Cllr Patricia Stallard , the City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Heritage, Culture and Sport, said: “The Westgate is a much-loved part of the heritage of our District.  It is one of the five gates on the mayoral crest, and for many of us is part of our everyday journey to the shops, to work, or to school.  Although budgets are tight at every level of government in this difficult financial climate, the City Council is committed to protecting its heritage and is pleased to be giving a new lease of life to the museum.”

Geoff Denford, Winchester City Council’s Principal Curator, added: “I’ll be able to breathe more easily knowing there’s a new roof to protect the museum’s beautiful 16th century painted ceiling and other treasures.”


The work is being carried out by contractor Chalke Valley Roofing from Salisbury. The building is a scheduled ancient monument, which means that English Heritage will be keeping a close eye on the work.


Access to the roof, which provides fine views over Winchester and the surrounding countryside, will also be improved for future visitors by the addition of new, level decking.


Work will span the Christmas-New Year holiday and should be finished by the middle of January. A further week has been allowed for dismantling the scaffolding. This should ensure that the museum will be open for business as usual on 1st February 2010.