Historic places of worship are the crown jewels in the UK’s architectural heritage, providing a priceless display of craftsmanship from pre-Norman times to the present day. Significantly, while churches account for just five per cent of listed buildings (all grades), almost half of the very best listed buildings (those listed at Grade I) are owned by the Church of England.
We have helped in the preservation and restoration of these buildings for future generations in nearly every way that we can from re roofing spires, renewal of oak timbers in a belltower, uncovering forgotten quoin stones, repairing stained glass windows and damp proofing a crypt . as well as repairing a collumaruim and resiteing grave stones.
This Family Crypt was designed by Edward Lutyens the father of the Arts and Crafts movement. whose other works include the Cenotaph in London and New Delhi. Although its original construction was superb, time and nature had taken a toll on some the brickwork. New bricks were cast as these bricks were an eighth of the size of a standard brick and after carefully cutting out the perished bricks the new ones were bedded in with a lime mortar.
St Bartholomews is a 700 year old church and is the final resting place of Pioneer of modern farming Jethro Tull it has also hosted a concert by the lead singer of the band Jethro Tull. We in association with ''The churches conservation trust'' helped to restore the bell tower. It had fallen into disrepair over the years and had suffered from birds making a home for themselves. We ''bird proofed '' the whole building, cleared out the debris and repaired the rotten oak timbers and flooring. We also made some remedial repairs to the roof to stop any damage from water ingress.
Whilst working on the lead roof we discovered the signed boot print from the workman who installed it in 1888.
St Bartholomew's , Lower Basildon, Berkshire
The Hannen Columbarium, Twyford, Berkshire
St Mary the Virgin, Aldworth, South Oxfordshire
The church of St Mary the Virgin is overwhelmed is history. the church has stood since the 11th century but it is known that it was placed on the site of an earlier pagan church dated by the millennium old yew tree and the the ring of hollies in the grave yard. It is home to the De la Beche effigies which are stone statues dated to the norman conquest and were once visited by Queen Elizabeth I and a jacobean pulpit that came from The Church of St Lawrence in Reading (click here for our work on this church). And has been the inspiration for a work by Lord Tenyson.
We were asked by the church and in conjunction with English Heritage to Redecorate the interior we meant stripping back the modern non breathable paint and repainting with a lime wash and also repairing the ''blown lime plaster. When stripping back the paint we discovered that the church was once decorated with writings in a gothic script naming virtues of a good christian and in remembrance of. With the lime render repairs instead of removing and then replacing we were asked to reattach the render which we did by drilling into the affected areas and pumping in a strong lime mix which will then bond to the stone fabric and the lime and then make good on the drill holes
Reading Minster, Church of St Marys
Founded by St Birinus as a small chapel in the 7th century it is now the towns largest church. We made the repairs to the South entrance. Externally we made the repairs to the stone work that had eroded through time and flint work internally we made repairs from damage from water ingress with Lime render and repainted with a lime wash.
St Nicolas, Sulham
St Nicolas sits on a site of an earlier Norman church which was demolished By the the then Rector John Wilder in 1838 the current Church has under gone a number of remedial repairs by us including the re lime rendering and lime wash of the Vestry, repairs to the quoin stones around the stained glass windows and roof repairs
St Marys, Stratfield Saye, Hampshire
The Church at Stratfield Saye is the home church of the Dukes of Wellington from the first Duke to the current who still lives in the main house. The Church was designed by Architect John Pitt in 1758 and is in the uncommon layout of Greek Cross and was described in Victorian times as ''A monster of ecclesiastical ugliness''. Although the first Duke is buried in St Pauls Cathedral, London he does have Funeral hatchment in the church which lists his achievements including the battle of waterloo where he defeated Napoleon.
We embarked on a full redecoration of the interior including making all repairs to the render, applying a breathable clay paint, Painting all the pews with a period colour that was researched as colour that was used when the church was new and also repainting and applying gold leaf to the many memorial monuments