Queen Mary Club Conserves Wall

The Queen Mary Club in Macquarie Street, formerly the Bank of Australasia, is a great Hobart landmark which has changed little since its completion in 1843.

Notably, it has an original stone boundary wall defining its legal and physical curtilage.

The north-eastern portion of that boundary wall was constructed in association with the original bank building, and is the most intact of the surviving boundary walls. The adjacent laneway was created at this time with the demolition of an early 19thcentury cottage. The current Queen Mary Club Heritage Management Plan for the site identifies this wall as the most urgent conservation issue.

That portion of the wall had suffered structural and fabric loss from rising salts, erosion of mortar and stone, loss of lime wash covering and damage by service vehicles. The external face forms the boundary of a service lane with Hadley’s Orient Hotel. Salt had built up in the stone work facing the laneway and major delamination and deterioration of the wall had occurred. Some stones had lost more than 50% of their integrity and in some cases mortar joints were completely missing. The top coping is comprised of rounded roughly-dressed stones and thick lime mortar. Much of this has washed away over time which allows water into the upper courses of the block-work.

The north-eastern wall has recently been restored to best approximate its original appearance and integrity by stonemason Mat Harris under the guidance of consultant engineer, Peter Spratt. The Queen Mary Club has fully funded this work.Restoration works on the top coping have been postponed until further funds become available.

Thank you to Frances Millar, Heritage Officer, Queen Mary Club, and Mary Ramsay for contributing this article.


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