WORKING WITH LISTED & HISTORIC BUILDINGS
We are pleased to be associated with the upkeep, repairs and alterations of many Listed and Historic Buildings in Gloucestershire and Warwickshire, either as one-off contracts or on a return basis over the years. Our specialist services include leaded glazing work - Lime Plasterwork - Specialist stone repairs and renewals and Conservation Textiles and paintwork. Below are some examples of Buildings of note that we have worked on:
St Laurence Rowington has a 20 year plus working relationship with the Church of St Laurence, Rowington which is located on the Old Warwick Road between Warwick and Hockley Heath. Over this period our work has taken us to most parts of this Church which is built in sandstone quarried locally to the site in the early part of the 12th century.
Our work has taken us to the tower roof where we have carried out specialist on-site lead work repairs and gilded the 17th century weathervane through protective coating of the bell frame, reconstruction of the clock housing, anchoring and re-roofing of the tiled spiral staircase roof down to the main areas of the church at ground level.
St Laurence interior in the main body of the Church we have built up a lengthy inventory of repairs, alterations via Faculty, and remedial work which ranges from masonry repairs and plasterwork through to alterations including a new vestry and anteroom with kitchenette.
We have also worked extensively on the outside of the Church building on a variety of contracts including construction of the pathway system, re-making of the entrance gates, rebuilding and ongoing repairs to a boundary and retaining walls through to a range of repair works and exterior decorations.
This famous Church situated alongside the river in Stratford upon Avon is the final resting place of William Shakespeare and receives many visitors from abroad each year. We have undertaken work on the boundary walls here since 2002 when commissioned to demolish, excavate and re-construct an aged retaining boundary wall. Shortly afterwards we refurbished the Main Entrance, South and West Gates, sandblasting in situ back to bare metal and spray painting on site.
In 2004 we were commissioned to refurbish about 75% of the 100 meter long characterful Blue Lias boundary wall by means of raking out of old mortar, effecting repairs to the stonework and occasional aged brickwork to the inner face, and re-pointing with hydraulic lime/sand mortar.
Blue Lias Boundary Wall Holy Trinity
We have also worked on many other areas and wall sections on this site and have commissioned and assisted in surveying work. We have also undertaken repairs to the 'Beer House', a small Chapel of rest within the Churchyard which has now sadly fallen into a state of dis repair whilst budgets are examined.
The American Fountain monument stands in the market square on Rother Street, Stratford upon Avon and was donated in 1887 by George W Childs (1829 -1894) of Philadelphia, an American publisher, to mark Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.
The large Gothic Clock Tower is an imposing example of design and architecture from the period and is built from sandstone quarried in Yorkshire. The tower incorporates drinking troughs made from Petershead granite and a drinking fountain which is no longer functional.
You will see not only American Eagles but also English Lions and many small and delicate carvings of little animals as part of the stonework. Portrayed above each clock face is a representation of a fairy inspired by Shakespeare’s 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'. The finished monument was unveiled by the English actor Henry Irving.
In 2012 we were commissioned to repair the Fountain monument's four high level pinnacles along with the four lower level pinnaclets all of which were in a state of disrepair. Two of the higher level pinnacles had blown down during a storm in January 2012.
This interesting and rewarding contract included the sourcing of sandstone from a quarry near to the original source of building stone and required the carving of various decorative elements which had either been destroyed in the storm or become degraded over time. All of the lower level smaller 'pinnaclets' needed to be carefully taken down and deconstructed along with all of the slender higher level pinnacles with their iron finials. The ironwork was sand-blasted and repainted and a new furrel was made to replace an original which had shattered in the fall from the building. The clip below shows the method of reinforcement used in the reconstruction phase.
Image left shows the finished pinnacles and replacement stonework capped with refurbished iron finnials. The repair and reconstruction methods used have ensured maximum strength to the slender pinnacles which now have substantial stainless steel reinforcement to their core, at base and upper levels.
Careful deconstruction has removed unhelpful and harmful resin jointed previous repairs and newly carved conical stone block sections bedded on traditional lime/sand mortar have reproduced the original construction methods. This famous monument and well known landmark has lasted surprisingly well for the last 125 years and the completed repair work will stand this much loved historic building in good stead for many years to come.
SHAKESPEARE'S BIRTHPLACE TRUST
Since 2016 we have been undertaking leaded glazing repairs and other general repairs to the historic sites owned by The Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust. The Trust notably looks after Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Mary Arden’s House (and Farm), New Place and Hall’s Croft all of which are located in and around Stratford upon Avon.
The Trust have over 750,000 visitors each year so the challenge is to carry out the work required without disruption to the visiting public who are often quite interested in the repairs being carried out. We are happy to share with the public the conservation techniques used in the repair work and consider it a privilege to work on such interesting and historically important buildings.
We are currently undertaking conservation window works at Haseley Manor near Warwick. The ongoing works include the refurbishment and refitting of around 135 original Victorian steel windows along with the remaking of many highly decorative and coloured leaded light windows. The refurbishment covers the entire building from the top of the Tower structure, down through three habitable floors to the basement level.
The development, run by Spitfire Bespoke Homes, is a comprehensive project creating houses and apartments set within the grounds of the Grade II listed Haseley Manor. Nine intricately-designed new houses will occupy the grounds, whilst the manor itself is set to be converted into 13 apartments.
Garden of Remembrance Memorial Stratford upon AvonThe Second World War Memorial shown is situated in the Garden of Remembrance, Stratford upon Avon. This is also the site for the Memorial to the Great War which stands close by.
Since 2005 we have carried out work on this site, pointing walls and copings and replacing brickwork where necessary under the watchful eye of the British Legion who regularly attend this place of remembrance.
We have also carried out repairs to the memorial structure itself.
St Peters can be found at the top of the hill in Pebworth. We have worked on this Church since 2006 when commissioned to carry out repairs to the exterior stonework and other minor repairs.
In addition to minor repairs since then we have undertaken more comprehensive repairs to the vaulted ceiling in the Chancel. This traditional lime plaster repair on to new riven oak lathes is typical of the type of restoration and repair work required by those who commission conservation work.
We have carried out maintenance work and repairs at Stratford upon Avon Town Hall since 2003 on a won contract basis. The type of work involved is mainly mundane such as guttering replacement and general remedial work however it is an interesting old building to work on and throws up challenges, such as a brief in 2006 to sympathetically repair the stonework to the North Balcony coping where an electricity company cherry picker had collided with it to cause some scarring damage and broken stonework. Over the years we have become familiar with the building having carried out work from the roof top down to the ground floor.
The Chapel at Evesham Road Cemetery, Stratford upon Avon was built in 1881 predominantly from Blue Lias stone, which over the years has produced quite a weathering problem to the South aspect because of the soft and de-laminating nature of the stone.
We have carried out re-pointing work since 2005 to various aspects of the main building and to the boundary walls that enclose the site.
Along with re-pointing of all the quoining up to eaves height our brief has been to attempt to slow down the weather erosion to the South aspect. This challenge has produced the need to formulate a mortar mix that will allow a sympathy with the original lime and grit sand mortar yet have an extra quality of hardness that would not outwear the Blue Lias stonework as is continues to become eroded by the elements.
We continue to carry out maintenance work on a competitive tender basis at the Chapel site.
Stratford Civic Hall became a talking point in the early part of the 2000's after a complete exterior decoration was completed, as some took the view that it's new colour resembled a shade of pink not entirely suited to the building.
We have undertaken a variety of work on this building ranging from lead work repairs on the roof through to secondary glazing installations in the Town Council offices. We have also carried out decorations to the main office areas.
Ongoing work brings us back to the above sites and other Churches and Buildings of Historic Interest.