Heritage Angel Awards Ceremony 2021 Belfast City Hall Read Story

Previous Awards| Heritage Angel Awards 2017

Best Craftsmanship or Apprentice on a Heritage Rescue or Repair Project

Heritage Angel

Bernard Cunningham


Victorian Ceiling Rose Restoration, Fitzroy Avenue, Belfast

Victorian details have at times been removed from, or damaged, in traditional terraces, and other buildings, detrimentally affecting the quality and survival of important interiors. In a Victorian terrace, located on Belfast’s Fitzroy Avenue, a private owner had taken the initiative to reinstate important original plasterwork detailing. Bernard Cunningham, a skilled plasterer, was commissioned for its restoration.

Bernard has dedicated work to traditional fibrous plastering over the past eighteen years. An example of this expertise, Bernard was commissioned to reproduce the original centrepiece in this Victorian property and, guided solely by surviving bedding pieces and a profile drawing, he successfully created a new and accurate replacement. This delicate reconstruction job was achieved by using bespoke moulds, created by Bernard, to remodel the majority of the feature. Further ornamentation was added to complete the project. The room was then fitted with a period style cornice to complete the look. Over the last 18 years, Bernard has built a positive reputation for himself in the field. Having gained formal qualifications in ‘Heritage Skills’, Bernard now teaches in a local college where he passes this knowledge in plaster-work on to others starting out in this important skills field.

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