Transport for Buckinghamshire has finished the restoration works to the Marlow Obelisk.
At MyMarlow, we have been tracking progress during the work, and think the result looks fantastic! Just looking at the before and after pictures above will show the transformation – certainly worth the wait!
We can also thank the Marlow Society for this – they had been campaigning since 2012 for Bucks County Council to allocate funding for this project. Our photo shows Martin Blunkell, chairman of the Marlow Society who was “unveiling” the obelisk at the end of the restoration, at 9pm on the Friday 14th September, just in time for Marlow Carnival the next day!
Now that it’s clean there is a noticeable colour difference between the main section of the structure, made of Portland limestone, and the topmost section leading to the point, which is sandstone. These contrasting materials have different properties and have to be repaired, cleaned and treated differently, exposing the original colour difference.
The limestone has been treated with a protective substance called ‘shelter coat’, though this cannot be used on the sandstone section as here it could actually accelerate the decay process. The inscription panels on the lower part of the obelisk have been repaired using lime mortar, which matches the colour and texture of the underlying stone. As the mortar repairs are more porous than the stone, these will respond to moisture and the panels may appear mottled from time to time. The weathered areas of stone will also respond to moisture and appear mottled. This is normal and to be expected.
Interestingly, there was originally a pump in front of the obelisk for public use, and it was found that the well and some of the pumping equipment is still present below ground.
Deputy Leader and Transport Cabinet Member, Mark Shaw said: “The completion of the restoration of Marlow Obelisk has been greatly anticipated and I think residents of Marlow will be really pleased with the end result. The obelisk has been restored to its former glory and really does look fantastic!”