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Repairs to steps - Jesmond Dene Old Mill

As a final part of the Old Mill Project it was decided to restore the steps leading up to the remains of rooms D and B on the Plan view of the site. The alternative, to leave the steps in disrepair would have led to further deterioration and closure of this area on safety grounds.

Before restoration
View of the steps before restoration shows old worn and broken steps. Some steps had completely disintegrated leaving only the bare earth and little support for the steps above which would eventually collapse.

Work in progress
One problem we faced was that as they were originally built, the steps did not come under the control of modern building regulations. However, if we wished to repair them, this would bring them under their control. A requirement of current building regs for steps is that they must all be of the same tread height, with no uneven increases in height. Our old steps varied a lot - look at the high drop on the bottom 2-3 steps - and therefore we had the option of leaving them as they were (facing closure as mentioned earlier on safety grounds) or completely rebuilding them to modern standards.

The completed work showing the steps as they probably looked when the mill and buildings were in use.

Fortunately, we had sufficient money available to pay for a complete replacement and the stonemasons were able to use old weathered sandstone recovered from elsewhere, so that the new steps remain sympathetic to the other stonework used on the mill. Look especially at the bottom 2 or 3 steps to see the improvement versus the old steps. This area is now fully restored and will be maintained as part of the fabric of the Jesmond Dene park.