Lindisfarne Priory sits offshore on Holy Island and is reached by a causeway at low tide. It is an important centre of early Christianity, the home of St Cuthbert and originally home to the Lindisfarne Gospels. It is a site managed by English Heritage and maintenance of the Priory sometimes presents challenges due to its listed status.
At the top of Lindisfarne Priory, bird netting is in place to stop birds nesting and causing damage to the medieval priory. However, replacing the netting is a complicated job requiring specialist equipment and meticulous planning as it had to be able to meet the following requirements:
- Reach the tower’s height of 13.2 metres
- Not damage the fabric and grounds of the monument as this is of paramount importance due to its protected status.
- The access equipment must fit through a 900mm width doorway obstacle.
To replace the bird netting without our access equipment, English Heritage would have had to use ladders and scaffolding, neither option was really suitable for the task. Ladders are definitely not recommended on health and safety grounds and scaffold wouldn’t have been a viable option either as it would all have to be taken through the building, which is very time consuming. It would also have to be erected for a long time and this job would require constant dismantling and moving it into position.
So, English Heritage knew they needed Warren Access’s specialist knowledge and access equipment to reach the top of the tower and replace the netting.
The Site Survey
Warren Access’s equipment easily overcame the challenges of working on this English Heritage site due to some careful planning, before doing the work, by completing a site survey.
We discovered that the machine used would need to be constantly on plywood sheets so that the grounds and stone walkways were not damaged, especially when turning the machine as it skid-steers. There were also many obstacles to be aware of while maneuvering the machine around the grounds of Lindisfarne. This included being able to maneuver the machine down steps, around an original stone base column and fitting the machine through a 900mm doorway.
If that wasn’t complex enough, one of the working positions the spider lift needed to be in also needed special permission from a nearby church so that the machine could reach the tower. The ground here required heavy duty ground protection due to underground voids.
After careful consideration of the site and the specialist needs of our client, it was decided that an 18 metre spider machine was the most appropriate as it is perfect for complicated and hard-to-reach jobsites.
Its minimum transport dimensions and low weight allow access to narrow indoor spaces without damaging delicate floors and with its powerful track drive it climbs slopes and even stairs up to 28% inclination and drives through rough terrain.
By using our access equipment, English Heritage was able to carry out essential maintenance to Lindisfarne and protect the future of the historical Lindisfarne Priory.