Category Archives: Church Works

A set of recent Church works projects by Bakers of Danbury

Westminster Abbey

Summary = Roof works to the medieval South Triforium and the Great Cloister within Westminster Abbey.

Value = Approximately £1,450,000

Location = Westminster, London

Architect = Ptolemy Dean Architects Ltd

Challenge = Access issues and restrictions due to the main access route into site being through the Great Cloister - a busy area of the Abbey accessible to the public from 9.30am every day.

Solution = Under the instruction from Ptolemy Dean Architects Ltd (Westminster Abbeys Surveyor of the fabric) Bakers carried out roof works to the medieval South Triforium and the Great Cloister within Westminster Abbey.

70ft above the Abbey floor, the new gallery provides visitors with magnificent views down over the Abbey buildings and the Palace of Westminster. Roof works carried out by Bakers involved stripping the existing roof, recasting original lead and re-leading part of the South Triforium and part of the Main Cloister.

A full overhaul of the rainwater goods was also carried out, with a combination of new and refurbished lead downpipes, hoppers and chutes fitted. A new hopper, corbel stone and 22 metre downpipe was introduced, formed to mirror the Christopher Wren era hoppers that were already in use.

Bakers increased the gradient of the Triforium roof by increasing the fall of the lead bays (compliant with lead sheet association guidelines). Other structural repairs included reinforcing 300-year-old oak primary rafters using a flitch plate repair and other associated structural repairs to the oak roof.

Other works include the provision of a new access hatch and fall arrest system, stone repairs and indents to internal and external elevations and the careful re-homing of monuments and statues from other parts of the Abbey onto the Triforium floor.

The new freestanding external access ladder with a handrail was crafted from European Oak. It was a good project for our recently qualified joiner Jack Darvill to work on.

With the improvements to the rainwater goods, Bakers also undertook the renewal of the below ground drainage within the Great Cloister, which will also included the exciting addition of a fountain positioned in the centre of the Cloister, formed on York Stone paving with a lead cistern fountain.

Works were completed Spring 2018, in time for the opening of a new museum and gallery, located in the Abbey's medieval Triforium. After being hidden from public over 700 years, the Triforium became “The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries”.

Jim Vincent, Clerk of the Works at Westminster Abbey said:

Bakers of Danbury have successfully managed access issues and restrictions whilst carrying out the works at the Abbey. The main access route into site is through the Great Cloister, which is a busy area of the Abbey accessible to the public from 9.30am every day.

We have found Bakers of Danbury to be considerate of the public and employees of the Abbey and have undertaken the works to the Abbey with the utmost care and attention at all times and look forward to continuing our working relationship with them in the future. The high standard of work is commensurate with the status of the building and is what is expected of contractors working at Westminster Abbey."

St Swithun’s Church, Great Chishill

Summary = Conservation and alteration works to St Swithun’s Church, Great Chishill

Value = approximately £238,000

Location = Great Chishill, South Cambridgeshire

Architect =Barker Associates

Solution = Bakers of Danbury recently carried out conservation and alteration works to St Swithun’s Church in Great Chishill, which involved extensive conservation of the church tower including repointing and replacement of external flint, refurbishment of the clock dials, replacement of the oak belfry louvres and new lightning protection.

Further works to the base of the tower included the addition of a disabled w/c facility and the provision of new mains water and drainage to the church.

 

St Mary’s Church, Stotfold

Summary = A major renovation to where large areas of external stonework had failed at St Mary's Church Stotfold.

Value = approximately £160,000

Location = Stotfold, Bedfordshire

Architect =Barker Associates

Challenge = This failure was mainly due to the fact that it was constructed using ‘Clunch’ stone which in its day was sourced locally, but being a very soft and pervious stone has not stood the tests of time.

Solution = The replacement stone was produced by our sister company Collins & Curtis Masonry. Clipsham Stone was used in place of Clunch for an all weathering stone which will stand up the elements better overtime.

All other stonework to ornate tracery sections to windows and door surrounds was replaced with Chicksgrove as good quality Clunch is now becoming difficult to source.

The results to the church has been a fantastic success and we have since secured additional works internally which start in January 2018.

 

St Catherine’s Church, East Tilbury

Summary =A sympathetic extension and redecoration to St Catherine's Church, East Tilbury to provide a new kitchen area and toilet facilities. Works also included a new heating installation to both the extension and church, along with a full renovation of flooring, walls and roof to the main church.

Value = £330,000

Location = East Tilbury, Essex

Architect =Inkpen Downie Architecture and Design Ltd

Solution = St Catherine's Church, East Tilbury is an important survival from the 12th century. The site is associated with the first church established by St Cedd.

Works involved an extension and redecoration to St Catherine's Church, East Tilbury. The parishioners were consulted to set out requirements for the building which was to provide some basic amenities such as a kitchen and toilet facilities.

Designed to allow focus to remain on the existing Church building; the extension is a simple free-standing structure with no interference on the existing structure. The external walls are clad in weathered horizontal oak boarding, reminiscent of timber porches commonly found in Essex where stone is a scarce material. The roof is configured to allow the use of pan-tiles without encroaching on existing openings. The foundations are a shallow raft supported on piles, to minimise interference with burials and underlying archaeology.

When the opening to the west door was unblocked to provide access to the new extension, it revealed decayed and missing stonework. This was reinstated and repaired with great attention to detail.

Internally, a new heating system was installed within the extension and church and the floors, walls and roof to main church were all renovated.

The new kitchen and toilet facility, together with a new heating system makes the church more usable as a place of worship.

Works were completed January 2016. The new facilities have enabled the Church to open for teas and homemade cakes from Easter to October on the afternoons of the last Sunday in the month and on Bank holiday Mondays.

This project was recently Highly Commended at the Diocese of Chelmsford, Design Awards 2017 for Development and Restoration.

Photos credited to Inkpen Downie Architecture and Design Ltd

Chelmsford Cathedral

Summary = Replacement of sand cast lead roof, including structural roof timber repairs, masonry works, internal plastering and redecoration to the Victorian Song School, Chelmsford Cathedral

Value = approximately £200,000

Location = Chelmsford Cathedral

Architect = Purcell Architects

Challenge = Works carried out to a very high standard of craftsmanship despite the inherent difficulties of working at a busy Cathedral with regular events requiring noise restrictions. Complex detailing of the new roof structure constructed over the existing roof trusses.

Solution = The church department have spent the summer of 2017 removing the existing lead and boarding to the Victorian Song School roof structure which over the years had been sagging due to its poor construction methods.

As it is part of a Grade I Listed building, the remit for the scheduled works was to construct a new steel roof frame over the existing timber structure below, which then had to be connected to hold the existing timbers in their current position. Once we had secured this in place it then received a complete new timber structure over the top, which was topped off with new lead. Internally new lath and plaster adorns the ceiling.

This project involved Intensive site management and close liaison with Cathedral staff and project team.

Looking at the job now, before and after doesn’t look like we have done anything, which is always a good sign with a restoration project!

 

St Albans Cathedral

Location = The Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban (North Ambulatory, Transfiguration Chapel & South Cloister)

Value = £207,000

Architect = Richard Griffiths Architects

Summary = External stone conservation, replacement & repairs, repairs to leaded glazing and replacement sand cast lead roofing.

Challenge = Works were carried out to a very high standard of craftsmanship despite the inherent difficulties of working at a busy Cathedral with regular events requiring noise restrictions and nearby heavy pedestrian traffic within a town centre.

Solution = Intensive site management and close liaison with Cathedral staff & Local Authorities to ensure the works are undertaken safely and minimise inconvenience to the Client’s daily events within the Cathedral.

Having worked on St Albans Cathedral over 17 years, Bakers of Danbury have a long-running and on-going relationship with the Cathedral which we are very proud to be a part of and consider it a privilege to maintain this incredible building for future generations to utilise and appreciate.

This project was recently awarded a RIBA National Award 2017, RIBA East 2017 award and a RIBA East 2017 award for Conservation.

 

St Christopher’s Church

Summary = Restoration of church roof, including strengthening and alterations to meet modern regulations.

Value = £162,000

Location = Willingale, Essex

Architect = Simon Marks - Purcell

Challenge = Fitting a new compliant roof structure into the old C14th roof timbers without disturbing the original structure and pegged joints, or affecting the existing plaster and lath ceiling. Every new rafter had to be fitted bespoke, shaving millimetres off at various points along their lengths to allow it to fit in the roof space available.

Solution = Works included stripping tiles and battens and re-roofing using bat-friendly felt, batten and tiling with hand-made Tudor tiles. Carrying out timber repairs and strengthening to the roof structure. Installing secondary roof structure in softwood to meet modern regulations regarding rafter spacing. Adjusting and adapting rainwater goods to suit new roof.

Brentwood Cathedral

Location = Brentwood Cathedral

Client = Diocese of Brentwood

Summary = Internal decoration and cleaning of the high level gilding, stone columns and floors.

Challenge = High level internal access and protection of the organ whilst works carried out overhead.

Solution = Full bird cage scaffold erected to use when cleaning gilding and when decorating of the ceiling upper walls. External access provision for glazing contractor to replace the existing leaking lead lights in the cupola.

Fr Martin Boland, Dean of the Cathedral said:

"I would like to thank you again for the professionalism of Bakers of Danbury, for your personal advice and for all those who worked so hard, efficiently and to the highest standard."

The Charterhouse, London

Value = £2,100,000

Location = London, EC1M 6AN

Architect = Eric Parry Architects

Conservation Architect = Richard Griffiths Architects

Landscape Architect = Todd Longstaffe-Gowan

Project management = Jackson Coles

Summary = Having been hidden from view and closed to public for over 650 years - the Charterhouse, a historic London landmark recently underwent extensive remodelling and conservation before being formerly opened to public by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh on 28th February 2017.

Challenge = The large conservation, restoration and alteration project “Revealing the Charterhouse” included remodelling of the Grade I listed building to house a new museum, learning centre, cafe, reception area and public toilets, as well as conservation and restoration works to the external fabric of Charterhouse Chapel and the re-design of Charterhouse Square.

Works took place whilst paying careful consideration to the Brothers who reside at the Charterhouse.

Solution = The recently completed £4 million project, “Revealing the Charterhouse” was funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund and other generous supporters. To ensure that the project was carried out to the highest standard, Bakers of Danbury were appointed Principal Contractors.

Ann Kenrick OBE, Master, the Charterhouse said:

“We are hugely grateful for the works carried out by Bakers of Danbury and for their unwavering dedication to the Revealing the Charterhouse project. The skilled craftsmen from Bakers work to an extremely high standard producing a finish which has exceeded all of our expectations. They were a pleasure to work with, always keeping to their word, and we couldn’t be happier with their overall approach and diligence.

I would recommend Bakers of Danbury to anyone."

REVEALING THE CHARTERHOUSE

The project “Revealing the Charterhouse” not only opens the Charterhouse to the general public, but as depicted by its name, has made the historic gem visible to passers-by, who otherwise may not have noticed the beautiful medieval buildings partially hiding behind a hedgerow. Bakers of Danbury replaced the hedges with new landscaping including entrance gates with the motto in old French “virtue is the only nobility”.

As a result of the new landscaping, as you approach Chapel Court (the entrance to Charterhouse) a beautiful path constructed of Scoutmoor Yorkstone will lead you through the entrance gates to the museum entrance - but before you proceed through the gates, at your feet you will find a feature stone with a brass inlay outlining the original footprint of the monastery.

Chosen for its durability; the slabs of the Scoutmoor Yorkstone pathway measure as large as 1500mm x 1500mm. Before the 63mm thick Yorkstone path could be laid, trial holes were made to Chapel Court and inspected by the Museum of London Archaeology team. To keep excavation to a minimum, the path was laid on a raised reinforced concrete base.

As you enter Chapel Court through the entrance gates, you will find a cast bronze model of the existing Charterhouse buildings. After the model was cast, it was sent away for patination – a decorative technique in which chemical solutions are applied to react with the surface, to provide a thin layer of coloured corrosion which gives an antique appearance.

The new landscaping to Chapel Court depicts the footprint of the original Chapel walls which was built in 1349 for the victims of the Black Death. It also gives pride of place to the new memorial of Sir Walter Manny – the monastery’s principle founder. The memorial marks the final resting place of Sir Walter Manny and is constructed of a beautiful Travertine tombstone, with base, plinth and eased arrises also of Travertine stone. On it is carved Sir Walter Manny, Died 1372.

CHARTERHOUSE CHAPEL

As part of the project, Bakers of Danbury carried out conservation and restoration works to the external fabric of the Chapel visible from Chapel Court. The extensive fabric repairs include stone cleaning and lime mortar repointing to the whole chapel and tower, as well as the traditional method of shelter coating to help preserve the softer friable stone. Where necessary Kentish Ragstone and Elm Park Bath stone supplied by Bakers of Danbury’s sister company Collins and Curtis Masonry sympathetically replaced stone which was beyond repair.

THE MUSEUM AND LEARNING CENTRE

The new reception area and learning centre are of a contemporary design with European Oak panelling and a painted plaster finish. A breathable silicate paint was used on existing solid walls, to prevent any moisture in the walls from causing ‘blistering’ and ‘bubbling’ of the paint.

As you enter the new reception area you will notice the impressive coffered ceiling, with indirect lighting within octagon recesses, which continues through the learning centre. The octagon coffered ceiling was designed to echo the octagon recess detail on the Chapel ceiling.

Bakers of Danbury carried out the base build for the new museum including climate control and secondary glazing. Bakers also relocated the sculpture representing Faith, Hope and Charity, to its new location looking over the museum.

CHARTERHOUSE SQUARE

As part of the project, Charterhouse Square was re-designed, inspired by its 18th century layout - this included the installation of gas lamps, a new pavilion, new benches and the refurbishment of the Grade II listed entrance gates and railings surrounding the square. The square has also been increased in size, by removing parking bays.

Quay Place, Ipswich, Suffolk

Value = £2,000,000

Location = Ipswich, Suffolk

Architect = Molyneux Kerr Architects

Summary = Regeneration of a Grade II Listed redundant medieval Church. New build extension and mezzanine floor of a contemporary design.

Challenge = The redundant church suffered from war damage, damp, a decayed roof and leaning walls.

Solution = Formerly the church of St Mary-at-the-Quay but now called Quay Place, was until its recent regeneration a redundant medieval Church.

The Grade II listed church which was believed to have been built around 1450 and 1550, is located next to Ipswich’s quayside. It suffered from war damage, damp, a decayed roof and leaning walls until the 17 month restoration programme gave Quay Place a new future as a centre for both heritage and well being activities, café and an event space alongside therapy provision.

The Churches Conservation Trust teamed up with the local charity Suffolk Mind, and together they secured Heritage Lottery Funds and European Regional Development Funds to cover the cost of the restoration. In April 2014 Bakers of Danbury started work on the project as Principal Contractor. The specialist restoration works include the structural stabilisation and incorporation of a large contemporary mezzanine floor for office space. A new contemporary design extension provides further offices and consulting rooms.

Bakers of Danbury's sister company Collins and Curtis Masonry supplied all new stone for the restoration and new build. Measurements were taken onsite to produce templates, which were then used to manufacture the replacement features to arches, jambs, tracery, cills and copings in their workshops. Traditional methods of masonry were used to manufacture the stone details.

The project was recently awarded a Civic Trust 2018 AABC Conservation award, RICS National 2017 (Highly Commended) and a RICS East of England 2017 award for Building Conservation. It also received a Highly Commended Award within the Ipswich Society Awards in 2016.

All images credited to Andy Marshall Architectural Photography