Restoration works open day at the cone

Aerial shot courtes of @inspireddroneimaging

The Red House Glass Cone in Wordsley is inviting people to a restoration works open day on Saturday 23 March.

The day is being funded by contractors Philips and Curry as part of their commitment to social value during the restoration project. The event runs from 11am to 4pm and will give people a chance to find more about work taking place at the site.

Dudley Council is investing £1.5million in the ongoing works, which are expected to take 18 months in total with the shop, visitor centre and craft studios remaining open as normal throughout.

During the open day, the interior of the Cone will be open for short ‘hard hat tours’, giving visitors the chance to see its internal scaffolding and work completed so far.

To guarantee a place on the tours, people will need to book their free ticket

Contractors will be on hand to talk about the works and there will be live demonstrations of the repointing process on the cone structure. Children can enjoy a free craft activity the Education Room on the day and there will also be glass makers tool handling sessions.

Refreshments will be provided by a local event food company The Camper Hamperwith the first 100 visitors to the site to be offered a free bacon sandwich. The Blowfish Glass Contemporary Glass Gallery will be open from 12 to 2pm, along with all the other craft studio businesses who are based on the site.

Councillor Paul Bradley, cabinet member for communities and economic delivery, said: “I would like to thank the Cone’s restoration contractors ‘Philips and Curry’ for funding this open day.

“The event will give visitors a great opportunity to get up close to the restoration works and to hear what’s been happening first hand. “Once again we are reminding people that the Cone is very much open for business throughout the works with businesses and craft studios still operating on the site.”

Entrance to the Cone is free. A range of workshops and activities regularly take place at the Cone, with pricing and details available at the site’s Facebook page.

The Red House Glass Cone is 100 feet high and 60 feet wide at its base. It has operated for more than 150 years and is a Grade II* listed, scheduled ancient monument. Built in the period 1788-1794, it is only one of four surviving glass cones in the UK, and, of these four, it is the best preserved.

The council has worked with an accredited historic architect and Historic England to secure the appropriate permission to begin the sensitive works. The authority is bound within these to restore the cone using authentic techniques and materials to remain true to the Cone’s history.

Work includes internal and external repointing of the entire structure from top to bottom with authentic lime mortar. Vegetation sprouting from the Cone has been carefully removed on a phased basis. A new lift will be put in place by the visitor centre to allow wheelchair access to the upper level with a viewing platform and the hot glass studio will be remodelled.


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