Mary King’s Close
High Street




Phased and significant out of hours works involving problematic access issues, complex mechanical and electrical services, traditional, modern and specialist construction skills all carried out to very precise Client requirements in live operational buildings and extremely sensitive surroundings.


City of Edinburgh Council



what we did

Mary King’s Close is an underground warren of old streets, seventeenth century tenement houses and spaces buried deep below the Royal Mile in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town – and now a commercial tourist attraction.

Following portal submission competitive tender Ashwood was appointed Principal Contractor for the Visitor Centre new Café, WC areas, Staff Room and Kitchen, carried out significantly outwith opening hours to keep the centre facilities in full operation and completed on time and on budget.

Our works comprised the strip out of redundant fixtures & fittings; slappings and structural alterations; steelwork; stone masonry; new doors, windows, partitions and ceilings;  internal finishes; decoration; plumbing, heating,  ventilation, small power, lighting and fire detection services installations (all to receive specialist feature fit out works by others).

We managed works through extremely tight courtyard settings ensuring all existing tourist facilities and access/egress routes remained live but secure.

Our established office and welfare facilities at St Giles Cathedral involved moving personnel, materials and waste across the High Street per detailed risk assessment and method statement and given limited access and lay down storage areas we managed deliveries using small vehicles outwith peak times and out-of-hours as necessary on busy adjacent city centre roads.

We maintained user access phasing works daily, marking out and providing safe travel with temporary barriers removed nightly, clear and abundant signage advising of routes and disruption – a tidy and professional approach at all times.

We introduced dust, noise and vibration nuisance control measures, detailing plant room switchovers and structural connections method statements for works to be executed after hours and/or during less sensitive periods for adjacent research building use.

Clear induction processes and site rules raised awareness of working in a live very public environment and all do’s and don’ts were rigorously enforced and adhered to.

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