Westminster Hall Case Study

21st century monitoring equipment being used by the Houses of Parliament.

The oldest building in the parliamentary estate, Westminster Hall, is now equipped with state-of-the-art environmental monitoring equipment by Caption Data.

Westminster Hall is home to the largest medieval timber roof in Northern Europe. Measuring 21m by 73m (68ft by 240ft) and some 30m tall, the roof was commissioned in 1393 by Richard II, and is still standing.

Much is known about the events that took place in the Hall’s 900-year history but in reality little is known about the internal atmosphere and conditions of the roof.

Earlier this year Caption Data were commissioned to install a remote monitoring system which measures a range of parameters from various points throughout the timber roof’s structure.

In October, we installed an RDL//1000 system with 27 sensors, measuring timber moisture levels, temperature and humidity, taking up to 216 measurements every hour. In addition, we installed a full weather station on the roof which will measure wind speed, rain, sunshine, temperature and humidity.

The Parliamentary Estate’s Directorate and the team involved in the conservation project will be able to view trends of data online and in real time from any mobile device, laptop, PC or MAC through the Caption Data web portal. Allowing them to establish the best conservation treatments for the internal stonework and roof timbers.

Another valuable benefit of Caption Data’s remote monitoring system is in the ability to set alarm thresholds that when met trigger SMS and Email alarms to key personnel to warn them of potentially unsafe or dangerous levels.

Robin Walker, MP for Worcester said, “Hopefully 21st century internet based monitoring from Worcester based Caption Data will help preserve this fabulous building for many more centuries to come!”


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