Castle Drogo is located high above the Teign Valley with sweeping views of Dartmoor, England. Built in 1931 for a wealthy retail magnate, it can truly be regarded as Britian’s last castle.
The lofty location of the castle allows for stunning photos and beautiful views, but has exposed the building to the legendarily tough weather. Due to the higher altitude and exposed nature of the landscape, climatic conditions are more extreme; generally warmer, wetter and windier than the rest of the country. These conditions have caused the roof and windows to leak and therefore need to be replaced in order to save this national treasure. The castle is protected by a conservation order, meaning none of the visual elements can be defaced or altered. This requires that the granite blocks remain intact when removed.
The contractor needed to cut out granite blocks so repairs could be made in the voids of the stonework, making the building water tight. The blocks would then be replaced in their original positions. The initial method of stitch drilling was a solution, but a slow one. Each block took 3.5 hours to remove. This is where ICS stepped in to help. Using the 890F4 hydraulic power cutter and FORCE4 chain, they were able to cut around the mortar joint and pry out the block with pinch bars.
The cutting time was reduced from 3.5 hours per block to 25 minutes. With the first phase of the project being to cut 250 linear meters (820 linear feet) at 30 cm (12 inches) deep, this saved days worth of time all while preserving the historical significance of this grand castle.