The Gascoyne Cecil Estate
Paye Stonework and Restoration
Leicester Square, London
The London Hippodrome was built in 1900 by the renowned theatre Architect, Frank Matcham, as a hippodrome for circus and variety performances. Over 50 years the facades had slowly fallen into a bad state of repair due to tenant neglect which led to Lord Shaftesbury and the Gascoyne Cecil Estate appointing Paye to restore the external fabric of the building.
Located in one of the most thriving areas of London directly over the entrance to the extremely busy underground station Leicester Square the project was a technical and logistical challenge.
Works included a conservation clean to the neglected sandstone facades, sourcing alternative red sandstones to petrographically match the original and no longer available Red Mansfield, pigmented restoration mortars to some sheltered elements and extensive lead and roofing repairs.
The building is renowned for the impressive statues at high level and whilst the bronze cast iron chariot and horses were conserved, Paye’s sculptors were requested to replicate the terracotta Roman Centurions standing over eight feet tall.