9 June 2021

A former musical warehouse which had to be rebuilt brick by brick to make way for a city link road has been topped with Welsh Slate.

Rose House, on the corner of Lincoln High Street and Tentercroft Street, had to be moved 20 feet back within a Conservation Area to allow for the width of the new £22 million east west link road as part of the city centre’s regeneration.

Main contractor Balfour Beatty was tasked by English Heritage with taking down the building, most recently the well-known Gadsby’s shop, brick by brick and rebuilding it, as four ground-floor retail units and 11 apartments on the three upper floors, with existing materials where possible.

But the Welsh slates, which had been on the roof since the former Rose Musical Warehouse was built in the 1860s, were replaced like-for-like with 650m2 of the manufacturer’s Cwt Y Bugail slates from its Blaenau Ffestiniog quarry in North Wales.

A team of up to six roofers from sub-contractor Bracknell Roofing installed the Welsh slates on new, open rafters over 12 weeks. The slate roofing work also included gables pointed with a slate undercloak and anchor points for solar panels.

Regional contracts director Ian Bladon who visited the site on a weekly basis said:

“The main contractor was very cooperative.”

In addition to the work with Welsh Slate, part of the Lagan group, Bracknell had a fibreglass barrel roof, flat roof areas, leadwork canopies, chimneys and Velux windows to contend with.

Ian added:

“We were able to provide a high level of technical support on site throughout the project. We also ensured that material storage and sourcing was well planned to result in a completed project which was true to the original design and aesthetic of the building. Our use of materials on this project, including the Welsh Slate, shows the range of services and expert skills we have available to us. We’re looking forward to working on heritage projects such as this in the future.”

The Rose Musical Warehouse was inherited by Edwin Samuel Rose, youngest son of founder William Rose. The business had stayed in the family for five generations until Jane Kinnear (nee Rose) and John Rose agreed to sell it to Lincolnshire County Council so the East West Link Road could go ahead with sections of dual carriageway and wider junctions. The new road will connect High Street with Pelham Bridge and Canwick Road.

An archaeological dig carried out on the site uncovered evidence of Roman remains and until the beginning of the industrial revolution the land was used for agriculture. The coming of the railway led to an urbanisation of this part of the High Street and Tentercroft Street between the 1850s and 1860s.

David Sims, section engineer at Balfour Beatty, said:

“We have worked with Bracknell Roofing before so we knew their heritage roofing expertise and ability to site manage would be a major help in the completion of this sensitive project. In particular, the slate specified required a trusted partner to install it. We are really pleased to be able to deliver such a high standard result to English Heritage.”

Nick Greenwood, lead consultant at Mouchel, said:

“I’ve been very impressed with the attention to detail and quality of the workmanship delivered on the heritage building as part of the East West Link Road.”


Ian Bladon said:

“Because the property could be viewed from the cathedral we had to use like-for-like, in this case Welsh Slate. It was a pretty straightforward contract for us. We didn’t have any issues with the Welsh Slate and any challenges on site we met through experience.”

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