IT has taken £90,000 and four months, but the newly-refurbished Milner’s Tower has reopened.
Work on the landmark building, built in 1871 in honour of William Milner, a safe maker who was a significant benefactor to the people of Port Erin, has taken longer than anticipated thanks to the bad weather.
Originally the Department of Environment, Fisheries and Agriculture hoped the tower – closed in late June when work began – would reopen in 10 weeks. But this summer’s wet and windy weather exacerbated by its extremely exposed position made it a longer task.
Concern about the safety of the flooring and the deterioration of the external walls meant extensive refurbishment work had to be done to save potentially greater cost later on.
Because of the historic nature of the building, great care was taken by Grenaby Lime Specialists to restore it in a sympathetic manner. Lime mortar was used in favour of concrete. Work included: removing algae from the stonework, re-pointing external walls, replacing unsympathetic concrete floors with limecrete floors, replacing missing stonework and lime-washing internal staircase walls.
The department said the final pieces of equipment will be removed this week and damage to ground (done by a second contractor) will be repaired.