Summary = Conservation and restoration works to St Lawrence Jewry, London, This project marks the largest phase of work to the building since the reconstruction by Cecil Brown in the 1950's.
Location = London
Challenge = The surviving Wren masonry suffers from heavy carbon staining and discoloration along with a pattern of defects
Solution = Under instruction from The City of London Corporation, Bakers recently started a large restoration project at St Lawrence Jewry, which stands in the yard of the Guildhall. The 18 month project is designed to return the Church to a sound state of repair and safeguard it for future generations.
St Lawrence Jewry, the official church of the Lord Mayor of the City of London, was first built in 1136 in the east end of London - the old Jewish quarter. It was rebuilt in 1677 by Christopher Wren after it was destroyed in the Great Fire of London, and reconstructed by Cecil Brown in 1957 after it was badly damaged in the Second World War.
Conservation and Restoration of St Lawrence Jewry, London
This project marks the largest phase of work to the building since the reconstruction by Cecil Brown in the 1950's. Many of the finishes to the roofs, gutters, cupola and spire date from then and are therefore towards the end of their service life, evidenced by the water ingress that has been an increasing problem in recent years. The surviving Wren masonry suffers from heavy carbon staining and discoloration along with a pattern of defects known as "corrosion jacking", caused by concealed iron cramps rusting, expanding and subsequently splitting and cracking the stonework.
Conservation and Restoration works
The Church remained open during phase one of the project. Phase one of works involved the cleaning and repair of the stone masonry elevations, tower and carved stonework; structural work, re-roofing and thermal upgrading of the lead covered Nave; re-roofing of the Commonwealth Chapel, Vicarage apartment and to the south-west of the tower; repairs to the timber framed, lead-clad cupola and spire; replacement of lead gutters and downpipes; overhaul, cleaning and repair of all stained and plain glass windows; replacement of lightning protection; and the repair and structural strengthening of decorative fibrous plaster ceilings, redecoration, repairs to the nave ceiling and commonwealth chapel and various upgrades to improve fire rating.
Phase two of works are currently underway and involve internal works including new mechanical and electrical installation, a fire rating upgrade and refurbishment of the vicarage & general office, renewal of boilers and flue arrangement, renewal of air handling unit and the renewal of the heating system.
In May 2022, a group of over 50 SPAB (Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings) members took part in a hard hat tour to find out more about the repair and restoration works Bakers of Danbury are currently carry out at St Lawrence Jewry in London. The tour guides for the three hard hat tours were Julian Harrap, Andrew Coles and Judy Allen from Julian Harrap Architects. The SPAB members enjoyed a detailed guided tour around the vestibule, nave and on the nave roof to see works taking place.
Bakers of Danbury received a Gold Award at The City of London's Considerate Contractor Awards. The City of London stated that decision was based on the overall performance of all personnel working on behalf of Bakers of Danbury during the past year on the site (St Lawrence Jewry).
The Gold Award recognises that the requirements of the Code of Good Practice have been consistently exceeded. It reflects a spirit of pride, an awareness of the needs of the passing public and regard for the surrounding environment.