Summary: Bakers of Danbury recently carried our structural repairs, underpinning to the South and North elevations of the Nave to St Marys Church in Mundon, Essex
Location: Mundon, Essex
St Marys Church in Mundon is a grade I Listed monument, owned by Friends of Friendless Churches, who describe it as a church that needs a lot of care with unstable ground. Friends of Friendless Churches carried out the latest monitoring technology to understand how, why and when the church is moving.
With the help from a grant, the Friends of Friendless Churches instructed Bakers of Danbury to carry out underpinning to the South and North elevations of the Nave to structurally support the church.
The method of underpinning was determined by the assigned surveyor, and piling drilled at calculated intervals along the interior and exterior of the walls. Sections were dug in intervals under the walls. Reinforcing cages were run through the dug intervals (under the walls), to the inner piles and along the exterior of the walls, interlocking with the drilled piling. The reinforcing cages were covered with cordek heaveguard to the sides and cordek cellcore to the underside. Cordek heaveguard and cellcore are designed to protect ground beams and pile caps from the effects of ground heave. Overtime it disintegrates leaving a void/ air pocket which enables the clay soils space to swell when wet. As soil cannot expand downwards or sideways, the exposed upper surface of the soil will rise up - the void/air pocket will allow this movement without causing heave pressure to the new underpinning structure, and the building it is supporting.
Where internal piling was to take place, Bakers lifted the existing tile pamments from the floor and returned them after works had taken place. Damaged tiles were replaced with new Bulmer handmade clay pamments to match the existing.
A grave slab was revealed when two stone slabs were removed inside the church (south east side) in preparation for drilling a pile. The hole was enlarged to reveal the 15th century grave slab, which would have originally been level with the floor (the floor level has been raised in the 19th century). On the slab indents can be interpreted as a vertical human figure, with a horizontal band below it which would have had an inscription. Pins were visible which were used to fix brasses in place.
Externally a door which had previously been blocked and rendered was rebricked up and a new breathable render applied in addition to areas with damaged render. To the east window Bakers of Danbury replace a tile fillet with a stone sill in Portland limestone.
Bakers removed failing plaster on the ceiling and made repairs before painting it in soft distemper, a breathable paint. The walls were not redecorated as they contain many paintings directly on the walls which include Fragments of medieval murals depicting East Anglian King Edmund (841-869) and a Baroque trompe l’oeil mural over the east window showing tassels and heavy curtains being drawn aside.
After works were completed the rare Georgian box pews were put back in places.