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Tilting Weir

Audley End House Tilting Weir

The ACE team visit dozens of sites a year. Occasionally they work at a site that is truly memorable. Few sites can match the grandeur of Audley End House in Saffron Walden. One of the finest examples of a Jacobean house in the UK. It’s house and gardens, are owned and managed by English Heritage. Usually, attracting thousands of visitors every year. One of the key features at Audley End House is the river Cam which twists through the gardens.

The Problem

In the mid-eighteenth century, the famous landscape gardener ‘Capability’ Brown remodelled the formal gardens. Giving a more natural organic feel. Part of this work involved the construction of a lake. The lake was fed by the river Cam. Controlling the levels in the lake is of critical importance to the gardens. Traditionally this had been done by using weir boards which were set to a prescribed level. Like many water courses, the Cam can suffer from a build-up of weeds and debris. If this build up is left unattended the water flow would be severely restricted.

The Solution

Traditionally the debris was cleared by the removal of the weir boards and flushing the debris clear of the lake. One problem with the use of weir boards is removing them whilst they are holding the weight of water, so with this in mind, English Heritage took the decision to install an ACE tilting weir. This would allow an operator the ability to precisely control the level of water being penned and at the same time the weir can also be dropped to allow the debris to flush through whilst the operator remains at a safe location.

The Result

The prestigious setting at Audley End meant the appearance of the weir was paramount, so to lower the visual impact of the weir, it was painted a dark green to blend with the surrounding foliage. The weirs stainless steel construction also means that it will give reliable flow control for years to come. ACE would like to thank English Heritage for the chance to play a small part in the future of Audley End.

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