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National Archive

National Archive Building Inspection, Kew

Murray Birrell was appointed to carry out a survey/inspection of the National Archive Building in Kew, and provide a schedule of condition, prior to our client planning to carry out a major development adjacent to the building.

Murray Birrell liaised with the technical advisers of the National Archive Building and attended with them to take a schedule of condition and photographs of the existing building, and agree monitoring points for the new construction. This was agreed and signed with the National Archive Building and used as a record of condition if future damage were to occur.

The National Archive Building was constructed in the 1970s. It was designed to house the expanding collection of government records which had outgrown their previous home in the Public Record Office in Chancery Lane, London.


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The modernist structure is made up of four six-storey concrete towers connected by walkways, and covers an area of over 26,000 square metres. It has a controlled environment and vibration and/or cracking could have a hugely detrimental effect on the archives stored.

In addition to providing a secure and climate-controlled environment for the preservation of irreplaceable historical documents - including the Domesday Book, the Magna Carta and William Shakespeare’s will - the National Archive also offers a range of services for researchers and members of the public. Visitors can view original documents in the public reading rooms, attend events and exhibitions, and access online databases of digitised records.

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