Decorative chimneys

Decorative chimneys

Tudor 'swizzle stick' chimney pots

Conservation project profile

Project focus: Decorative chimney stacks, Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace has the largest number of decorative chimney stacks in the country. Find out below how we conserve them for the future.

Why this project?

The famous brick chimneys of Hampton Court Palace were an integral part of the 1514 design for Thomas Wolsey’s palace, a demonstration of his exceptional wealth and are the earliest of their type in England. After Henry VIII acquired Hampton Court in 1528, his new buildings added further chimneys to the palace’s impressive skyline. Today, Hampton Court still has 241 decorative brick chimneys, the largest collection in England.

Issues to address:

  • The chimneys are constructed in soft red brickwork and are vulnerable to weathering and erosion.
  • As far as we are aware, none of the original Tudor chimneys survive. Many are Victorian and are likely to follow the decorative tradition of the original work, if not being wholly faithful copies. We salvage as much original brickwork as possible from the dismantled elements.

Our approach

  • Dismantling takes place course by course so that photographs and templates can be taken at each stage.
  • All sound bricks are carefully cleaned, salvaged and packed carefully.
  • New, fine-textured red bricks, hand made in the traditional manner.
  • We also use a softer, lime-based mortar.

Further information

For more detailed information on this project, including images, please download the Adobe PDF below.

Other building projects

Click on the links below to view profiles of some of our other building projects for 2007-8

Learn about conservation

Downloadable Resources

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    Conserving chimneys - project profile
    (Adobe PDF, 332KB)

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