Cleaning historic Neptune Fountain
We recently carried out a cleaning project for Cheltenham Council which included cleaning the historic Neptune Fountain on the Promenade. A combination of black algae and fungal mould had caused the fountain to become badly discoloured making it look dirty and run down.
The Neptune Fountain, believed to be fashioned on the Trevi Fountain in Rome, depicts Neptune the Roman god of the sea, in his shell-chariot drawn by four sea-horses and accompanied by mermen. Designed in 1893 by Joseph Hall and carved by a local company Boulton & Sons, The Neptune Fountain is now an iconic Cheltenham landmark, popular with both residents and visitors to the city. It is a popular site for taking photos and the council was keen to have it cleaned up and looking its best.
The fountain is carved out of Portland stone which had become stained by a combination of black algae or cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria not only stains the stone black, but also increases water absorption by penetrating the veins in the stone leading to honeycomb weathering damage.
A gentle approach to cleaning historic stone
Historic sculptures can be vulnerable during cleaning and we worked closely with Cheltenham Borough Council's Conservation Officer to ensure that our cleaning methods conformed to their strict guidelines. This included carrying out a number of trials to determine the best approach to cleaning, as well as identifying any vulnerable damaged or worn areas of the statue which might need specific treatment.
Our unique SteamPLUS cleaning system allows us to precisely control both the pressure and temperature of the steam during cleaning, enabling us to achieve a far superior clean without causing damage to the delicate stone surface. After cleaning we applied an antifungal treatment to the stone to help inhibit future growth and preserve the lovely clean appearance of the stone for longer.
Work planned to cause minimum disruption
Work was carried out over two consecutive early Sunday morning sessions, a time that was agreed would cause least inconvenience to visitors to the site. The honey coloured Portland stone cleaned up really well and the fountain has been returned to its former glory, with Neptune looking far more god-like and photo-ready! Cheltenham Council was delighted with the outcome of the project. Wendy Tomlinson, Senior Conservation Officer for Cheltenham Borough Council said,
"Please pass on my sincere thanks to guys for the demo and for getting Neptune cleaned.”
If you have an historic stone sculpture, or a soft stone building façade that needs cleaning please contact us to discuss the benefits of using SteamPLUS. Call Max or Andy Morris on 0333 234 1445 or email email@example.com