A HISTORIC ceiling at a Chepstow's hotel and country club could be saved from possible "catastrophic damage" under plans submitted to Monmouthshire County Council.

The ornate pastel ceiling in the panel room of St. Pierre Marriott Hotel & Country Club is thought to date back to the 1800s though its style has been compared to 16th century designs.

However over recent years it has shown signs of damage at the grade II-listed building, including cracking and damage from water ingress resulting from a faulty chimney, according to a heritage impact assessment submitted by Steve Morgan Associates on behalf of the hotel.

The chimneys have been repaired but monitoring of the cracks have shown they are progressive.

The room above is no longer being used to prevent any further damage to the ceiling but work is necessary to retain the ceiling and prevent any further deterioration.

Plans submitted propose installing a new steel frame above the floor construction.

The heritage impact statement says: "The primary aim of the steel frame is to support and stabilise the timber floor and hence retain the ornate ceiling which appears to be deteriorating due to the excessive deflection of the floor above.

"The steel frame will sit above the existing floor structure and will be bolted to it performing as a new floor to take the weight of the activity in the room above, but also hanging the existing ceiling from it to prevent any further deflection in the plaster ceiling."

Benefits identified from the proposed work includes the preservation of an 'invaluable' ceiling which is considered of significance to the building as a whole.

The ceiling is thought to date from alterations carried out by Charles Lewis in the mid 19th century, though like many of the alterations of this time, it was done in the style and character of the earlier phases of the building’s history.

The proposed work will also enable the continued use of the conference room above.

Potential damage to some lower portions of 19th century panelling is considered to be a slight harmful impact.

But the proposed works are evaluated as having a greater benefit than the identified harm.