Pitfodels station roof finial restoration

Pitfodels station roof finial restoration

We recently completed some restoration work for a picturesque disused railway station located in Aberdeenshire, Scotland called Pitfodels station

The below pictures show the derelict station in quite a sorry state of repair:

Pitfodels station roof finial restorationPitfodels train station roof finial restoration


The station was opened on 02/07/1894 and is a beautiful building that was undergoing some restoration work. Part of the restoration work carried out was some reroofing and replacement of tiles and ridge

The station sported some decorative finials on each hip end but they were badly weathered and featured weather damage and hairline cracks. The building contractor Alan Grant Grampian contracted us to restore the finials to their former glory so that the original architectural features and character of the building can be preserved

A master finial was removed from the roof and sent down to our workshop to be repaired and moulded:

Broken roof finial before restorationIt is typical for clay finials that are over 100 years old to become susceptible to damage and despite the customers best efforts with packaging the finial broke into 3 large parts on the journey. This damage is likely to be due to the roof finial's fragile nature, after all it has been outside in all elements and has withstood anything that the sometimes harsh Aberdeenshire weather could throw at it

This master finial would be a challenging restoration project because there is over a 100 years worth of grime, moss and decay to clean and make good so that a good mould and replica can be reproduced. The picture to the left shows you the condition of the original master finial as it arrived

After assessing the condition of the finial we tackled this project in 5 stages with the stage 1 to be scrubbing the finial down with brushes to remove the grime and moss and then to give the fragments an anti-fungal bath to further clean off the moss. The first stage will get the finial fragments cleaned up so that we can push onto the second stage with re-assembling the finial

Stage 2 involved re-assembling the large fragments and glueing them back together again so that the finial takes it's orginal shape and form. This stage also includes filling hair line cracks and repairing a centuries worth of damage to make a good "master piece" for getting a good mould. It took 1 day of labour to scrub down a century worth of moss, decay and grime, glue the parts back together and make good any cracks and damage so that we could start to make the mould from this original finial

Stage 1 & 2 Pictures

roof finial glued back togetherroof finial glued back
roof finial restoreroof finial restoration

Stage 3 Pictures:

This stage involves preparing the finial to be moulded and doing the first coat of silicon rubber for the inner mould, then shims

roof finial moulding

Stage 4 Pictures:

After some drying the next stage is to do a thick coat of silicon rubber for inner mould then shims to demould

roof finial moulding

Stage 5 Fibreglass Casing:

After allowing the silicon rubber to dry the mould is encased with fibreglass and after the mould has completely dried we can start pouring the replica finials

The finished replicas:

The replica finials were poured, allowed to dry and finished and the customer's specification was to have them finished in the original darker clay colour with them antiqued to give a rustic looking finish. We were very pleased with the outcome of the finials:

Restored Pitfodels train station roof finial designRestored Pitfodels train station roof finials