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New heraldic dogs on guard at Grosvenor Museum

Published date: 26 June 2012 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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One of the new talbots guarding the Museum 

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WORK is under way to bring the frontage of Chester’s Grosvenor Museum back to its former glory when the building officially opened in 1856.

Scaffolding has enveloped the front of the Museum in recent months and was originally needed to check the condition of the balustrade and replace it if necessary.

Heraldic dogs or talbots have also been re-carved as part of the work which is taking place.

The museum, built in 1885-6 and designed by Thomas Meakin Lockwood, is built of red brick with sandstone dressings, carved with reclining female figures and peacocks.

Once the scaffolding was in place council workers realised that not only did the balustrade need to be replaced, but the two talbots found on the Grosvenor family coat of arms, also needed to be re-carved.

The museum is named after Hugh Lupus Grosvenor, 1st Duke of Westminster, who donated a portion of the site and part of the construction costs for the museum.

Councillor Stuart Parker, executive member for culture and recreation said: “While the scaffolding is in place the window frames are also being worked on, as is the cupola, the lantern shaped structure on the very top of the museum.

“The oval hanging sign which is also a familiar sight on Grosvenor Street has been refurbished and re-gilded.

“Over the coming weeks the new balustrade, talbots and sign are all being returned, and once the scaffolding is removed the building frontage will be renewed to the way it must have looked when first constructed in the 19th century.”

The project has been a partnership between Cheshire West and Chester Council’s property department, highways, conservation, parking and museum services, with a range of outside contractors.

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