Event Description

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A unique two-day celebration of all things IRON in and around World Heritage Greenwich.

A focal point for Britain’s maritime and horological heritage, as well as the site of Henry VIII’s armoury, Greenwich is steeped in ironwork history. This one-off event will celebrate the fascinating, multi-faceted material that has played such a vital role in our history, and contributed in so many different ways to major technological developments across the globe.

Day 1 – 27th October 2022 – Mycenae House, London SE3 7SE – 9.30-17.00

Talks & Walk – a morning of interesting talks on Greenwich’s historic ironwork, followed by an afternoon guided walk around the local ironwork highlights, including exclusive access to a live conservation site at the Old Royal Naval College & the chance to put your questions to Icon accredited conservator Brian Hall.

You can read more about the programme of talks below.

Day 2  – 28th October 2022 – Hall Conservation 9.00-12.00 OR 13.00-16.00

*SOLD OUT* Hands-on Heritage – try your hand at a variety of conservation techniques – including blacksmithing, patination, gilding, repousse in the busy workshops of a thriving conservation business.

Ticket options:

Talks & Walk: £60 [NHIG Members £50; Students/OAP/unwaged/low waged £30] Includes lunch

Hands-on Heritage half-day (morning or afternoon): £80 [NHIG Members £70; Students/OAP/unwaged/low waged £50] Once you have booked we will contact you to ask your preference for morning or afternoon.

Combined Ticket for both events: £120 [NHIG Members £100; Students/OAP/unwaged/low waged £60]

NOTE: We offer various ticket options so that no one is prevented by cost from attending. Please select at your own discretion the rate you feel able to pay. No proof or evidence of status will be required.

For enquiries about group bookings, please contact Jessica:


Keeping Time

Anna Rolls, Curator of the Clockmakers Museum (pictured left), will chart the journey of the Greenwich Time Ball from observatory instrument to working museum exhibit. From the perspective of a curator and conservator, Anna will look at the time ball’s history, the evolution of its mechanical operation and offer unique insights into the challenges faced in its upkeep.



Conserving the Cutty Sark by Claire Denham, Research Advisor, Royal Museums Greenwich

The Cutty Sark is an icon of the lost age of sail. Groundbreaking for her time, her composite structure of iron and wood gave her strength, rigidity and speed, making her the epitome of Victorian engineering. Built to last only 30 years, she spent 85 years in the water. This, combined with 50 years in dry dock, propped up by a network of shores, placed a serve strain on her already corroded iron work. A structural survey in 1998 pronounced if nothing was done to preserve the structure, the ship would collapse. In 2006 The Cutty Sark conservation project was launched to conserve the structure and save the ship.

This talk will give an insight into the conservation project, decisions made and techniques used in the quest to preserve the ship for future generations.


Rise and Fall of the All-Iron Warship by Andrew Choong, Curator & Historian, Royal Museums Greenwich

The Thames Iron Works was the most prolific of the modern London shipbuilders during its short life from the mid-19th Century to 1912. From their yard on the Isle of Dogs, they built a number of famous warships including HMS Warrior (1860) and HMS Thunderer (1912).

This talk will give a historic overview of local shipbuilding including the shift from iron to steel and how developments in armour plating, construction techniques and increases in vessel size continually challenged, and ultimately defeated, this once-famous company.




Conserving Arms & Armour by Brian Hall, Hall Conservation

Using case studies from the Royal Collection and Royal Armouries, Brian will look at how cannons, muskets, pistols and suits of armour are conserved and what we can learn from them.

During the afternoon walking tour you will be able to see conservation in action on a live project at the Old Royal Naval College, with the opportunity to ask Brian questions

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