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Five challenges to overcome when choosing a flagpole for a historical building.

24th Jan 2022
By sarah-jane grainger |
Advice | Flagpoles | historical buildings flagpoles |

Landmarks, locations and buildings of significant importance are steeped in rich heritage and culture. Often a key feature of these properties is a prominent flag and flagpole, used to showcase a county flag.

However, when it comes to finding a flagpole solution to meet the unique requirements of a historical property, there are various considerations and challenges to overcome. There are often technical and logistical challenges, stemming from the location and age of the building, or sometimes access to the base of the flagpole is a major consideration.

These challenges require specific design engineering know-how, combined with flagpole knowledge and an understanding of the needs of historical properties. To help architects, project managers, construction specialists and specifiers, we’ve produced guidance on exactly this topic. Read our top five challenges you need to overcome when choosing a flagpole for your historical building

Finding a flagpole to fit the style

The first challenge is finding the right flagpole style for your historical property. You need to consider two points – firstly, what is the purpose of the flagpole (a national flag, wayfinding, or advertising). Secondly, what aesthetic does the historical property have. Both of these will determine how to find the right style of historical property flagpole.

For example, a fully rigged flagpole is often associated with historic landmarks with links to coastal locations or maritime heritage. Read our case study on how we supported HMS Raleigh on its rigged flagpole requirements.

Alternatively, a client may require an additional or replacement flagpole for their the family crest associated to a historic residency, so a wall-mounted flagpole or selection of banner poles may work better. There is a whole breadth of choice, all custom engineered and manufactured to the highest standards.

As part of our work at The Mount Pavilion, Fleetwood, we designed an 18-metre high fully rigged flagpole. This included a yard arm and gaff to create a more historical aesthetic and was sympathetic to the design of the original flag mast outside of the pavilion in a coastal location.

  1. Bespoke to your historical property’s requirements

For historical sites, going bespoke is the best approach. This allows you to get a solution designed to your exact specifications that considers how to address logistical challenges that often arise with listed buildings. The important part of going bespoke, however, is finding the right supplier with the specific skills and expertise to deliver your desired solution. Not only that, but quality, strength and safety are also paramount when it comes to bespoke flagpoles.

At Harrison Flagpoles, our engineers undertake computer modelling analysis to calculate what is required and utilise the data to create a bespoke flag or banner pole to fit the chosen location. We pride ourselves on not only creating bespoke products, but also high-quality ones. All of our products are rigorously tested and meet ISO9001 quality standards and relevant Eurocode standards for wind loads. And as a Constructionline gold accredited supplier, our clients can be additionally assured of the highest quality and customer care.

This means whether it’s to sit atop a church or be located outside of a stately home, you can have peace of mind that your bespoke historical property flagpole can stand the test of time.

  1. Functionality is key

Historical buildings weren’t designed with modern functionality requirements in mind. Which means how you actually operate your flagpole may be a challenge to overcome.

If you’re looking for a flagpole which needs to be raised and lowered on a regular basis or is installed in an area with limited access, having a pole which can be easily managed and serviced is key. That may be through the use of a mechanical hinge or remotely operated system.

Take our work at Somerset House in London, where we installed a bespoke banner pole to meet its marketing requirements. The pole needed to be raised and lowered on a regular basis, being positioned adjacent to a wall with a 15-metre drop presented safety challenges.

Our expert team created a bespoke mechanical hinge system which allowed the pole to be raised and lowered safely.

  1. Ensuring a safe installation

The safe installation of your flagpole at the historical property is one of the key challenges to overcome. Especially if you’re opting for a wall-mounted solution, where the structural condition of the building’s walls needs to be considered. If the building is of an older age or listed, a poor installation may leave permanent structural damage.

When it comes to installing flagpoles at historical properties, we’ve burgeoned a reputation as the UK’s leading authority. We are the only independent manufacturer of glassfibre flagpoles and our expert team has a wealth of experience working on the most challenging and high-profile historical properties, including across both English Heritage and the National Trust’s portfolios.

  1. Keeping it well maintained

For your flagpole to stand the test of time, it will need to be maintained through regular servicing. This is particularly important if your solution uses mechanical components. Regular servicing also ensures your flagpole is safe for both those operating it and visitors to your historical property.

If your flagpole has been installed in a challenging location, the maintenance can become even more of a challenge. At Harrison’s, we offer an maintenance service to ensure your flag and flagpole stay in good condition for years to come. With harsh weather conditions and environmental factors taking their toll on your flagpole, our team of engineers are on hand to keep your flagpole looking and performance at its best.

At Harrison Flagpoles, we have extensive experience in providing historical property flagpoles for the likes of English Heritage and the National Trust. We’re also proud to be a Constructionline Gold accredited supplier.


Learn more about why we’re the UK’s leading flag and flagpole provider for the construction industry, and browse our selection of environmentally friendly solutions in our Harrison EcoTM range. 


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