Keeping the Castle cosy with Howe Green Access Covers

Howe Green’s Light Duty 5000 Series Floor Access Covers are playing their part in keeping a Victorian castle warm and cosy by providing safe and easy access to central heating valves.

Lews Castle, on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides has an interesting past. It was built between 1844 and 1851 for Sir James Matheson, who made his fortune from the Chinese opium trade. Designed by Glasgow architect Charles Wilson the Mock Tudor Castle was intended as a country house for Sir Matheson.

In 1918 industrialist William Lever bought the castle and gave it to the people of Stornoway parish in 1923. During the Second World War the castle was used as hospital and then as a college and a school before being declared unsafe and closed down for twenty five years. 

The Castle reopened in July 2016 following a £19 million refurbishment. The Category A listed building is now a museum and cultural centre owned by the local council – Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, and a wedding venue and five star accommodation operated through Natural Retreats.

The council awarded the major refurbishment contract to the Scotland Division of GRAHAM Construction. Their remit included the repair and restoration of the interior of the ground and upper floors of the Castle, the construction of a new museum and cultural centre and centre café.

The Light Duty 5000 Series Aluminium Floor Access Covers from Howe Green were specified to provide access to the underfloor services, located in the corridors on the first floor of the Castle. Sixteen covers were supplied, in various standard sizes. The covers were specified with the option of a brass show edge. They were installed by GRAHAM Construction and then infilled with carpet or ceramic tiles, depending on their location.

The Howe Green 5000 Series offers a pedestrian loading and is suitable for pedestrian footfall, wheeled trolleys and sack trucks.

The brass show edge with matching lifting points, which are anchored to the inner frame, give an even higher level of aesthetic appeal than the standard aluminium show edge. The brass finish fits perfectly with the historic surroundings of the Castle. The show edge is continuously secured which means there are no fasteners to rust or break. The seamless fit with the floor finish reduces the risk of slips and trips.

The Light Duty 5000 Series Aluminium Floor Access Cover can be supplied with a double seal and a top edge seal to help prevent dirt and water ingress. There is also an option to have a one hour fire rating to BS 476: Part 20: 1987 if required.

When there is a chill in the air the team at Lews Castle know they have the best chance of keeping the Castle cosy as the floor access covers provide easy access to the central heating. Should any maintenance be required the covers can be removed safely, quickly and easily with the use of lifting keys, keeping disruption to the running of this premier tourist attraction to a minimum.

If you would like to find out how Howe Green can assist with your next requirement for a safe and easy access solution for concealed services please call 01920 463230 or visit www.howegreen.com.