The Ven Luke Miller, Archdeacon of London, recently visited St Anne and St Agnes Church in the City of London, where he blessed the new spire and weathervane, which have been rebuilt following extensive restoration works carried out by Bakers of Danbury.
The Grade I Listed church dates from the 15th century. The church was restored by Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of London and later survived the London Blitz.
The restoration work carried out by Bakers of Danbury included the extensive refurbishment of the tower and roof, together with external redecoration. The works were made possible by a grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund.
Archdeacon Luke said of the blessing:
“I am glad to see St Anne and St Agnes Church looking so splendid, and thank and congratulate all those involved for making the restoration possible on all their hard work. I was delighted to be able to bless the church’s new spire and weathervane, which gleamed brightly in the summer sun, representing a new chapter in the life of this historic church.”
Value = £614,000
Location = Fleet Street London EC4
Architect = Tangram Architects
Summary = Tower/spire cleaning and restoration of stonework.
Challenge = Restricted access in the busy City of London.
Solution = The iconic Grade 1 Listed church is the tallest of Sir Christopher Wren’s churches at 67m high with its distinctive and famous tiered spire being the inspiration of the wedding cake. Standing for over 300 years the church has survived world wars, years of air pollution and erosion from detrimental weather, so it is no surprise that after years of numerous sections of masonry falling from the structure to the ground, that substantial restoration work was urgently required.
The initial phase of essential repairs to the Portland Stone tower & spire involved carefully cleaning the heavy carbon soiling, more than an inch thick in places, removal of all hard cement pointing and mortar repairs carried out in the 1950’s and repointing with lime mortar with around 350 new stone indents to the ashlar and moulded details.
Many of Wren’s original carved stones including the Corinthian style column capitals were replicated and fully replaced and many carved sections delicately repaired.
The unstable tower parapet & the eight 2m high ornate sculptured urns were reconstructed to remove Wren’s original rusting iron cram and replace them with stainless steel fixings. The tower & spire also benefited from new lead work to the tiered cornices of the spire to protect the masonry and improve weathering, a new lightning protection system and regilded weather vane.
Value = £880,000
Location = Baldock, Hertfordshire
Architect = Barker Associates
Summary = Internal re-ordering of Nave floor, design and installation of extensive LED lighting scheme, new carpets. External re-leading to South Aisle Roof, carpentry and extensive masonry repairs to flint walling and limestone.
Challenge = Removal of existing cement based repairs avoiding damage to the original building fabric
Solution = Works carried out in two phases. Phase one being works to the tower which included the restoration of the intricate stucco belfry window surrounds, cornices and enrichments on a soft brick substrate. Works involved making a replica of the original damaged gargoyles by placing a latex material over an existing restored gargoyle to create a mould to then casted from these moulds to replace many of the defective gargoyles. This project won the RICS conservation award in 2011 for the East of England.
The next phase involved the internal re-ordering of Nave floor, design and installation of extensive LED lighting scheme, new carpets. External re-leading to South Aisle Roof, carpentry and extensive masonry repairs to flint walling and limestone.