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.