We'd been involved for sometime working with Portsmouth City Council on cleaning their sensitive and historic buildings including Southsea Castle and so were delighted when asked to help with the cleaning of The Square Tower which dates back to 1494 and the bust of King Charles I. Portsmouth City Council Seafront Manager David Evans gives us his views on the project.
'The Square Tower was built in 1494 during the reign of Henry VII and was the residence of the military governor until about 1580. It was during the English Civil War that this building was used as an arsenal and contained large amounts of gunpowder. The Tower is thought to be the last stronghold of the Royalists in Portsmouth and the then Governor of Portsmouth threatened to blow it up unless his terms were agreed, which they were.
The bust of Charles I housed within the eastern wall was in poor cosmetic condition as were the walls of the tower. The bust and the walls had never been cleaned before and as 1st Choice High Level Cleaning had made such an excellent job of cleaning Southsea Castle walls of centuries of debris, they were the natural choice of contractor. It was a tricky job as it's in the main pedestrian area of Old Portsmouth and a key tourist trail. To ensure the public were not disturbed, careful planning was needed to make sure that all detritus was kept to the minimum. Working with 1st Choice is very straightforward and they always keep to the programme and budget and they have an excellent understanding of our historic buildings.'
David Evans, Seafront Manager, Portsmouth City Council