There’s been a church on this site for about a thousand years and this particular building has recently celebrated 250 years of being used and loved. It was rebuilt in 1763 after the tower on the previous church crashed down on a market day in 1740. The Grade I listed church situated in the heart of Guildford town center underwent major restoration starting in July 2015 and finishing early 2016.
Externally, repairs were carried out to the masonry, roofs and rainwater systems. Masonry wise, a light clean of the existing stone dressings was initially carried out utilizing the specialist Therma-Tech super-heated water cleaning system, essential but sensitive masonry repairs were then carried out including the replacement of the rusting original ferrous metal fixings, the removal of detrimental cement based pointing with lime based mortar installed along with brick replacement and Portland stone indents and lime based render renewal to the parapet walls of the tower and aisles.
Roofing repairs consisted of the complete renewal of the tower’s hand-made clay tiled roof and lead gutters with associated oak timber repairs, the re-slating of the Sanctuary roof with diminishing coursed slate, new Code 8 lead coverings to the aisle cornices and new high performance felt coverings to the boiler and organ blower houses.
The existing rainwater systems were inadequate to cope with the quantity of water discharging from the main roofs leading to the outlets in the valley gutters overfilling and thus penetrating the brickwork below and causing significant damage internally to the plaster-work. The existing outlets were removed and the existing masonry and timber roof structure was then adapted to suit the reconfigured outlet design which incorporated a bespoke overflow system.
Internally, the Nave, Gallery, Queens Chapel and South Transept were redecorated following the repairs to the lime plaster walls and the re-forming of the lath and hair reinforced lime plaster cornice mounding within the South Transept.
Other associated works comprised the installation of new oak doors to the tower and Nave, the design and installation of new stainless steel roof ladders and handrails to the North and South Transepts along with the conservation of the clock consisting of specialist repairs to the heraldry, the renewal of the timber surround and the painting and gilding of the clock face.