Putting a spot light on British legal Heritage at Lincoln’s Inn

by Francesca

The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn is recognised as being one of the world’s most significant professional bodies of judges and lawyers in the world.  Lincoln’s Inn itself is one of the four Inns of Court of London (Middle Temple, Inner Temple and Gray’s Inn being the others).

Lincoln’s Inn is a busy society of barristers, situated on a large estate of historic buildings, contemporary facilities, and tranquil grounds.  This renowned and historical landmark covers over 11 acres in Holborn, London’s Borough of Camden, and is thought to have been named after Henry de Lacy, the 3rd Earl of Lincoln.  It is a multifaceted organisation but is primarily focussed on the training and professional development of its members at all stages of their careers.  It is a cultural and architectural landmark, recognised around the globe.

To that end, any restoration or modernisation work must be carried out very carefully and sympathetically indeed with the close involvement of architectural and heritage specialists. A site of this nature requires a long term and well thought through restoration programme which on this occasion concerned the reinstallation of columns and restoration of the historic lighting around the estate.

William Sugg & Co. Ltd are specialists in heritage lighting and we were brought in to work alongside Franklyn Air (who specialise in the maintenance and installation of air conditioning in London and are also experts in installation of gas lights), to refurbish the gas lighting, lampposts and lanterns at Lincoln’s Inn. 

A number of the beautifully and intricately designed historic lanterns needed to be put back to their formal glory having fallen into disrepair over many, many years and this is where we came in.

The project, which we worked on for a number of months, demanded a mixture of skills and specialisms.  The external gas light fittings and columns positioned at various locations around the site required a full restoration.  Some light fittings required a certain level of care, and others something totally different.  Some had lost their functionality while others required some general love as they had been removed from site and had been damaged whilst in storage.

The first challenge was to identify the specific needs of each of the light fittings and organise them into a form that each fitting could be given the specific attention it required to restore it back to its former glory!

Our role within this was to provide consultation and work out the best approach for each fitting or column, and then for our team to actually carry out the restoration in our Horsham factory. 

The team used a combination of heritage and more modern techniques depending on the setting. Castings, columns and overthrows can also be replicated where new patterns are required, this coupled with modern production techniques ensure that reproductions can be completed to the highest of standards.

It was clear from the outset that as the columns and light fittings were made using heritage techniques and dated back hundreds of years, they required personal and individual care and attention.  They also needed to be brought up to modern standards and returned to their former glory as an important focal point around the site.  Our highly skilled artisan craftsmen worked on each one individually to ensure their functionality and aesthetic would last for generations to come.

In 2003 the introduction of the new BS5489 lighting standards brought with it the need to provide effective lighting with reduced lighting levels utilising whiter light sources in order to reduce power requirements.  Part night dimming and part night operations were also introduced to reduce wasted energy.  Within this type of restoration work, where necessary, we provided LED solutions with greatly reduced power consumptions while not compromising the design objectives, visual appearance or public safety.

The newly refurbished lanterns and lamp posts can be seen in and around Lincoln’s Inn and are a striking example of how culture and heritage are so important to London’s landmarks and society, even today. 

William Sugg has been supplying interior and exterior decorative and heritage lighting for over 175 years. Examples of William Sugg’s highly prestigious work can be seen lighting thoroughfares, parks and important buildings throughout London and the world.

Franklynair Ltd is a specialist in the installation and maintenance of all types of gas lighting.  Their team of engineers, who are compliant with gas safe legislation, were fully trained by William Sugg & Co Ltd.

For more info visit www.williamsugg.co.uk or on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram @WSuggLighting

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