Tag Archives: church

Church Redecoration

Summary = Church redecoration and repair to St Bartholomew Church in Wickham Bishops

Location = Wickham Bishops, Essex

Solution = Bakers recently carried out the ornate decoration of the church to St Bartholomew in Wickham Bishops.

St Bartholomew’s is Grade II listed and is a fine example of Victorian Gothic church architecture.  The church was built in 1850 by Sarah Leigh in memory of her father, the Reverend. Thomas Leigh who was Rector from 1803 to 1843.  The church was designed by Ewin Christian and is built of Kentish Ragstone and Caen stone. It replaces the redundant St Peter’s church to the west, over the disused railway line. The 120 foot high spire is a local landmark visible from the A12.

Find out more about the Diocesan Advisory Committee Design Awards Scheme  click here.

Church Extension

Summary: Construction of a new new extension to provide the church with a new meeting area, kitchenette and an accessible WC

Location: Helion Bumpstead

Value: £245,000

Bakers of Danbury are currently building an extension to St Andrews Church in Helions Bumpstead. The extension will provide the parishioners with a new meeting area, kitchenette and an accessible WC. Constructed from a block inner skin with a handmade imperial red brick outer skin, the extension is being built on a 0.6m deep footing. Although due to being on a slope, in areas the footprint of the extension was excavated 1.2m below the existing ground level, which was all carried out with an archaeological watching brief. Once the footprint had been dug, it was covered with a sand intervention layer which helps prevent any further deterioration of the medieval graves which had been partially uncovered. A 0.25m air gap was left between the sand layer and a block and beam floor.

As the extension is partially below ground level a tanking system was installed to the outer brick and inner walls. The bespoke roof was constructed from oak trusses and covered in Cwt-y-Bugail Welsh slate. Water services were run into the church using new MDPE barrier pipe (to prevent contamination) and the power supply was upgraded. Underfloor heating and wall radiators were installed to the extension. The windows to the new extension were constructed of new steel framed casements, within bespoke oak frames produced by our own joinery department. The steel windows have the thinnest sight lines in the industry, thanks in part to the fact they are filled with Krypton, a very dense and highly energy efficient gas, perfect for listed buildings.

Bakers’ joinery workshop also manufactured two external oak doors and an arch headed door in oak to access the new extension from the church.

Take a look at our short film on woodcarving

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Church Structural Repairs

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

Value: £286,000

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.

Take a look at our short film on woodcarving

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Repair of Cedar Shingle Roof

Summary: Tower repairs including repointing to the round tower, re-shingling the spire roof and refurbishing and reinstating the weathervane.

Location: Broomfield, Essex

Value: £140,000

The octagonal spire roof, which is covered with cedar shingles has suffered extensive damage caused by woodpeckers pecking holes in the shingle roof. Bakers will first remove the softwood cedar shingles from the roof structure to allow the architect and structural engineer to review the battens and substructure. There is expected to be a minimal number of structural repairs needed before the spire roof is covered in hand split Oak shakes on pre-treated softwood battens, with new stainless-steel soakers.

The woodpeckers will be deterred from damaging the new spire roof, firstly because by replacing the shingles it will ensure any insects the woodpeckers were drilling for are removed. Secondly, the new oak shakes will be free from all visual traces of former pecking sites which make woodpeckers more likely to return. The new shakes will be constructed from oak which is a hardwood and will have strips of stainless steel behind them, as the sound vibrating off of them will help deter the woodpeckers.

The round tower is of significant importance due to its round shape. It is constructed from coursed flint and ferruginous conglomerate with roman bricks and quoins and houses six bells, just below eves level supported in a steel frame. Bakers of Danbury will be repointing around 60% of the tower as the existing lime mortar pointing (which includes a very coarse aggregate) is failing at parts. The new pointing will also be of a breathable lime mortar with crushed shell.

Bakers of Danbury will also refurbish and reinstate the weathervane. It will be cleaned, a primer applied, and regilded with 24 carat gold leaf. A traditional sand cast lead cap/ weathering will be designed and installed to the weathervane.

Take a look at our short film on woodcarving

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Considerate Contractor Scheme Award Winners

We are delighted to announce that Bakers of Danbury has been awarded the Gold Award at The City of London's Considerate Contractor Scheme Awards 2022.

The City of London said the 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.

To find out more about the Considerate Constractor Scheme 2022 Awards click here.

Image: ©Clive Totman 2022

St Lawrence Jewry – Hard Hat Tour

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 SPAB members were allocated one of two tour times for which the attendees were split into three small groups. The tours took 1.5 hours during which the groups stopped at 6 points within the site. As St Lawrence Jewry was a working building site and the tours involved climbing up and walking along multiple lifts of scaffolding - which have a limited amount of space - it was essential that the tours were well organised to ensure the tour groups were able travel along their designated route without the risk of meeting one of the other groups.

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.

During the tour the attendees found out about how the current repair and restoration works are sensitive to the late 17th century construction including both the traditional materials and the quality of workmanship and how the works were designed for longevity using materials with longer service lifespans to ensure the ongoing preservation of the building.

Some other interesting information the attendees were told during the hard hat tours also included; how the intricate carved stone was gently cleaned using a nebulous spray technique, Julian Harrap Architects’ theory on why the external ashlar stone was removed from the north elevation sometime after the 1940’s, and how Julian Harrap Architects calculated the strengths and weaknesses of the existing 1950's nave roof before Bakers of Danbury could carry out repairs, structural strengthening and re-roofing using heavier code 8 lead.

To find out more about repair and restoration works to St Lawrence Jewry, London click here.

Westminster Abbey Infirmary

Summary: Refurbishment and alterations to Westminster Abbey Infirmary

Location: Westminster, London

Challenge: Access to this part of Westminster Abbey is restricted

Solution: Bakers of Danbury carried out refurbishment and alterations to Westminster Abbey Infirmary providing a galleried area around the room, accessed via a new oak staircase and balustrade manufactured in Bakers specialist joinery workshop. Bakers also manufactured and installed bespoke hand-crafted fitted cupboards and kitchenette which seamlessly filled the space beneath the new gallery level. Masonry and glazing repairs were also carried out.

When working at Westminster Abbey it is important to have continuous liaison with the Clerk of Works to work together and overcome access issues and restrictions. All staff wore a security tab which gave them access to the restricted areas they needed to access. All other areas were strictly prohibited. During special events, such as when HRH Queen Elizabeth visited, the works onsite had to stop. During such times, our Site Manager had to liaise closely with the Clerk of Works and Security.

Take a look at our short film on woodcarving

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Church Tower Mezzanine Floor

Summary: Church re-ordering and new mezzanine floor within tower to make it a usable space.

Location: Impington, Cambridgeshire

Challenge: The existing 15th century wall paintings needed to be protected and later restored

Solution: Bakers carried out a re-order of the church which included a new mezzanine floor with a glass screen entrance within the tower to allow the tower to become a usable space. Externally, stone repair and re-pointing was carried out to the south and partial west elevations. A new lead roof was installed to the tower and the church was decorated throughout, whilst protecting the early 15th century paintings which were later restored.

Take a look at our short film on woodcarving

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Church Wall Strengthening & Repair

Summary = Major repair and strengthening work carried out to the church wall

Location = Holy Trinity Church in Halstead

Challenge = The challenge was digging the pockets in between the trees as the trees prevented the digger from being able to get to where it needed to excavate. Bakers of Danbury carried out hand digging where the trees prevented access for the digger. Bakers also adjusted some of the placements to achieve equally spaced ties.

Solution = To repair and strengthen the wall Bakers of Danbury dug ten 1.2m3 pockets along the length, to the back of the 36m churchyard boundary wall. The pockets were poured with concrete which was cast around 1.6m long stainless steel rods. The rods had been inserted through the wall. On the wall face they were tied and bolted to steel pattress plates.

To provide additional reinforcement, two lengths of Helifix reinforcing ties, set in resin were inserted along the face of the wall, extending the whole 36m length.

Cllr Mick Radley, Mayor and Chairman of Halstead Town Council said;

“I’m really pleased that the council has taken action to conduct major repair work to the Holy Trinity Church boundary wall and to recognise the excellent work that has been done. The wall has been leaning for a number of years and the recent repair work has now strengthened the wall along its length to hold it in place.

This work was conducted as part of the Town Council’s obligations to maintain closed churchyards and was funded from financial reserves specifically allocated to the work. Design work was commissioned to The Morton Partnership and the repair work to Bakers of Danbury Heritage Ltd. I would like to thank all of those involved with the repair for the excellent work they have done and with minimum disruption to the community.”

To keep up to date on similar conservation projects carried out by Bakers of Danbury visit our Latest News page or the Bakers of Danbury Facebook page.