As you may have seen, the scaffolding at the Argent Centre is up and whilst it is hiding some of the work that is being carried out, we’re pleased to report that despite the temporary setback of Covid-19 lockdown, works are progressing well.

The Argent Centre with scaffolding.

The building will be undergoing general repair works over the next few months, and the initial focus has been on the roofs and brickwork. The existing mortar has been removed where needed and the repointing has begun. Repointing is essential to repairing historic buildings, because as well as improving the appearance, it keeps moisture from getting behind the brick and causing further damage.

Close-up of Argent Centre brickwork and stonework (Photo: Blue Monday)

Brickwork repairs, repointing and decoration to the chimney have now been completed. The chimney is located at the northern end of the Frederick Street elevation, where it used to adjoin the engine house for W E Wiley’s pen factory.

View of Argent Centre chimney. Photo: Blue Monday

A survey into the repair of the metal windows has been undertaken and works to repair these in-situ has started. Excitingly the roof structure has been opened up and evidence of the original turrets has been uncovered, including an original fish scale tile. Lots of discussions have been had about reconstruction of these turrets both prior to and during building works ,so it’s great when historic evidence can be used like this to ensure that the construction is as close as possible to the original.

The works are being undertaken by specialist contractors Midland Conservation Ltd and overseen by conservation architects Oliver Architecture.

Further information

Find out more about the history of the Argent Centre, a gateway building to the heart of the Jewellery Quarter.