As part of the Old Newcastle Project, an initiative which focuses on Newcastle’s cultural and creative heritage, Heritage Lottery Funding was secured to create a heritage led education and interpretation centre. Patrick Parsons provided structural design services associated with the refurbishment of the Grade I listed building, which has historically been used as a fortress, jail and library.
Built in the 13th Century by Henry III, The Black Gate contains medieval fabric in its lower two storeys that is of exceptional archaeological interest. Since its construction, the building was modified during the 18th and 19th centuries when several additions were made. This meant there were various interfaces to deal with during this project but this was successfully overcome due to Patrick Parson’s extensive experience and knowledge in conservation engineering and our holistic view of the implications of changes to design.
The principal structural elements of design work for the Black Gate were a new curved footbridge, an existing timber footbridge and a new lift. Numerous meetings were held with Newcastle City Council’s archaeologist to investigate ground archaeology within the footprint area of foundations. Following consultation with stakeholders and design team members, foundations were designed to span over the areas of archaeology that were to remain undisturbed.