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Botany Herbarium Building Works

8 July 2011

Wrapping upScaffoldingMan at workslates

After over thirty years of intermittent leaks and temporary fixes the roof of the Herbarium has been renewed. This substantial project necessitated the closure of the herbarium, the 'wrapping' of the herbarium's contents (specimens and books) in plastic to prevent water damage, the removal of the existing tiles and roof skylights, the false internal ceiling and rewiring and redecoration. As you can see the old roof supported a thriving plant community which had rooted through the tiles into the horsehair layer of insulation underneath. Serendipitously, the work coincided with a fire in the roof of the main Departmental Building that somewhat impeded progress on the herbarium. The work has now, however, been completed and the Herbarium reopened.

Roof GrowthsBare RoofConstruction


letter from the architect

Skylight photo 3

Skylight photo 2

A letter from the architect of the herbarium displaying the usual over-optimism that many have with what was then newish technology. The skylight has, as is evident from the surrounding images leaked badly for years.

Skylight photo1




The newest skylight is being installed at present, please see below the most recent pictures.


new skylight 1new skylight 3new skylight 2


Photo of the flooded herbarium

The fire brigade put the fire in the Department out but flood the herbarium anteroom in the process. Its contents have to be removed for drying and storage.



photo of the false ceiling The false ceiling is removed





Photo of boxes in the lobby

The entrance lobby to the Department is filled by the empty books and other items which were returned to the Anteroom which has been redecorated and its ceiling replastered.

Photo of herbarium users

The work is now complete. The herbarium is fully functional and, is for the first time in living memory, now warm to work in. The lighting is also fantastic – being fully automatic and much better than was present previously. Thanks to everyone involved in getting the project through to successful completion.


Photo of herbarium workspaceHerbarium specimen shelvesHerbarium main chamber

Last updated 11 September 2013