The Grade I listed St Mary Magdalene Church, built in the late 12th century with additions in the 13th and 15th centuries, sits high on a hill top and adjacent to a Scheduled Ancient Monument, the earthwork remains of a Norman ring-work fortification.
For years the tower had been exposed to the elements, accelerating the erosion of the masonry and mortar. This erosion lead to significant destabilization of the masonry with sections of masonry falling from the tower. Due to this the church was awarded a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage to carry out essential repair works to the tower and other essential conservation work to the masonry of the tower, Transept, Vestry and the roof structure of the Nave.
Structural repairs to the upper masonry tower walls involved the tying of the walls using stainless steel bars up to 1 meter in length. The voids within the walls were then filled using PIERRA's approved lime based Heritage Grout.
Conservation work including lime shelter-coating, indenting, replacement and mortar repairs were then carried out to the Kentish Rag stone, Caen stone, Bath-stone and Clunch stone elements of the church.
Internally, sensitive repairs of the oak beams, trusses, wall plates and rafters of the Nave roof structure using a combination of new oak and specialist timber repair system (Rotafix) were completed along with associated repairs to the lath and plaster ceilings using traditional lime based mortar and goats’ hair.
Other works included the installation of a new drainage system and the underpinning of the north vestry and north turret, specialist structural Cintec anchors to the gable of the Vestry along with the refurbishment of the North Transept stained glass in conjunction with the replacement of the severely deteriorated Doulting window surrounds.