Stained Glass Portrait of Sir William Wallace, made by Ballantine & Allan, Edinburgh, 1886
Stained Glass Portrait of King Robert the Bruce, made by Ballantine & Allan, Edinburgh, 1886
Detail of William Wallace's head before removal, showing cracks around his head where the lead is being pulled apart due to movement within the stonework. The window was at risk of falling out.
Detail of the "Spider" cherry picker we used to enable us avoid disturbing iron age archaeological remains around the base of the tower, whilst allowing a maximum working height up to the outside of the windows.
Detail showing the full reach of the spider cherry picker of 30m above ground level to reach the window openings
Detail of Bronze statue of Sir William Wallace, and the side of the Wallace Monument, with the Spider nearing full height extension.
Detail of some of the marble busts inside the Hall of Heroes, which had to be fully protected during the removal and installation of the windows.
Details of protection: cotton, bubble and blankets were covered over each bust to protect them from dust and debris during the removal and installation phases on-site.
Interesting momentary image of the marble busts, covered in blankets, prior to wooden cladding being installed; they look like ghosts in the Tower
All of the busts, and the Wallace Sword, were covered with plywood to prevent impact damage. All of the internal scaffolding and protection were carried up and down 200 steps of the internal staircase by hand - twice.
Detail showing Rab MacInnes (inside on internal scaffold) and Jon Laird (outside on spider cherry picker) during the removal of the Wallace window.
Detail showing the removal of the first panel - Wallace's head, after three hours of careful maneuvering.
View from the crow's nest at the top of the spider.
Back in the studio, a rubbing was taken of each panel prior to conservation.
Detail showing the condition of the lead before conservation - showing multiple stress cracks throughout the panel.
Most of the panels were completely stripped of their lead. However, the more complex areas of leading were retained, such as Bruce's shield, which was later incorporated intact into the new leading.
Each piece of glass was carefully cleaned of 150 years of dust and debris.
Cleaning Bruce's head
A small number of pieces of the border glass were repainted to match the original broken pieces.
Apart from the border glass, all other broken glass was restored either by Hxtal epoxy resin and backplating, or CAF 3 & CAF 33 silicon resin.
Inscription: Glazed by Alex Aikman + Andw Robb May 1886
Leading up Wallace's legs
Health & safety, splitting the lead.
The old leaded shield is carefully inserted into the newly leaded panel
Rab being impaled by Wallace's sword during installation.
It's a long long long way down once the window is removed.
But the view from the window opening was amazing.
Installing King Robert the Bruce: Rab on the inside, Jimmy Innes on the spider outside doing the lime mortar pointing.
Detail of Bruce's shield after installation
Rab and William Wallace finally installed