Kenilworth is the largest ruined castle in England, and the conservation of various parts has been an extensive task for English Heritage over the years. As with any project involving a historical building, aesthetics, and safeguarding as much of the site as possible in its original state, is paramount. This is why, when it came to finding an unobtrusive CCTV monitoring system, English Heritage turned to Chubb.
Alan Capewell, English Heritage Technical Manager for the West Midlands Region, explains: “We have worked with Chubb Electronic Security on a number of projects where the nature of the historic site has demanded a sensitive and bespoke security solution.
“In this particular instance, we were setting up an exhibition on one floor of the Gate House and, due to the valuable nature of the exhibits which include precious tapestries and original letters to Queen Elizabeth I who visited Kenilworth in 1575, we wanted to be able to monitor and keep it under surveillance from the main site.”
The challenge was to install five CCTV cameras and find a way to relay the images to the new visitor centre on the other side of the site without digging up or disturbing any of the archaeologically sensitive ground around the Gate House to lay cables.
Tony Skelton of Chubb Electronic Security describes the task: “We needed to find a way to transmit the live images from the cameras across the site, which was also on the other side of the tree line. Several other suppliers had said that it couldn’t be done but, knowing how important it was not to disrupt the site, we were determined to find a solution.
“It was borderline case but we devised a way of using radio and microwave technology to create a videolink and transmit the live CCTV images wirelessly so that they can be viewed and monitored in the visitor centre.”
Alan Capewell continues: “We are delighted with the solution which, not only ensures that the historical integrity of the site is retained, but also gives us peace of mind to be able to manage the security of this exhibition in real time. So far we have not had any trouble with visitors to the Gate House, but with such valuable items in there, theft and vandalism are always a risk.”
Chubb Electronic Security has worked on several bespoke projects for the English Heritage. Another recent success was the installation a tailor-made infra-red CCTV system in order to be able to monitor the bats hibernating within the roof space of the Visitor Centre at Witley Court, Worcestershire.