A project the conservation division were involved in from the outset, providing budget costs for the masonry repairs to the tower to assist the Parish in obtaining funding for the project from the Heritage Lottery Fund, PIERRA were delighted to be appointed the Principal Contractor for the much needed masonry conservation repairs to this Grade I listed church which dates back to Norman times.
The west tower, built mainly of Kentish Rag stone and flint, was in poor condition and put on Historic England’s ‘at risk’ register due to sections of masonry falling to the ground. Essential and wide spread replacement of the Kentish Rag stone dressings was undertaken including the replacement of the severely deteriorated sections of the belfry window surrounds which consisted of some highly ornate, and substantial, tracery sections all of which were carved on site by PIERRA’s highly skilled banker masons. Minor stone indents, mortar repairs and lime shelter-coating was also performed on the Caen stone lancet hood moulds and cills.
Essential re-building and stabilization was also required to the flint walling and Kentish Rag stone and flint buttresses which had become detached from the main body of the tower. All dismantled masonry was carefully recorded, taken down and re-built using a combination of lime based mortar and PIERRA’s heritage grout.
Other associated works included the cleaning of the facades using a super-heated pressure wash system, the refurbishment of the existing clock face including the replacement of the oak timber framework, the installation of new oak louvers to the belfry openings, bird deterrent measures, new lead rainwater chutes and pointing to the internal walls of the belfry stage.