The skyline of Norwich will have a new feature from the end of this week as the £13.5m Royal Palace Reborn project to transform Norwich Castle keep takes a major step forward with the construction of a large tower crane on the Castle’s Norman mound.
The 41.5m (136ft) crane – a Jaso J160.10 Saddle Jib Tower Crane – is being installed on Wednesday 30 September – subject to weather conditions – by Morgan Sindall Construction who are undertaking the Castle works.
The tower crane will be erected by the use of a Grove GMK6300L 300te mobile crane and this will be situated in an exclusion zone on Castle Gardens. The mobile crane will lift and place the tower crane in sections that are scheduled for delivery throughout the day.
Once completed, the tower crane’s 45m jib will help transport the materials needed for the project, such as structural steel and glass, from the builders’ compound in Castle Gardens onto the mound. It will also be used to lift into place glazing and steel associated with the works, including alterations to the roof which, once completed, will make the Castle battlements fully accessible to the public for the first time. Finally, the tower crane will also remove any deconstructed material from the mound.
The installation of the crane is an important milestone in the National Lottery Heritage Fund supported Norwich Castle: Royal Palace Reborn project which will recreate the Norman layout of the Keep, enabling visitors to experience Norwich Castle as it was in its medieval heyday.
Alister Broadberry, Area Director of Morgan Sindall, said: “The erection of the tower crane above Norwich Castle is an exciting milestone, as it suddenly makes the scale of works here very visible. The crane will ensure the bridge up to the castle and dungeons remain protected as materials are lifted across and into the castle where our craftspeople can do their best work. The crane will also have a large LED screen, which will display information about the project so that people passing by can learn about, and be inspired by, what is to come.”
Margaret Dewsbury, cabinet member for communities and partnerships at Norfolk County Council said: “The original builders of the Norman castle used the most sophisticated methods of their day to construct what was one of the grandest buildings in medieval Europe. It’s wonderful to see this tradition of ingenuity and craftsmanship continuing in the 21st century as we begin the next exciting phase in the Castle’s evolution.”
The installation of the tower crane is the fruit of many months of work by the project team involving extensive engineering and structural surveys to ensure the safety of site workers, the public and the fabric of the Castle and its environs.