Tag Archives: roof works

Church Masonry Repairs

Summary = Emergency masonry repairs to church bell tower ruins

Value = Approximately £30,000

Location = East Bergholt, Suffolk

Challenge = The construction of the bell tower began in 1525, but the construction stopped in 1530, due to Cardinal Wolsey's fall from grace and the Reformation. Bakers carried out the necessary emergency repair works in 2017 as the bell tower masonry, which is exposed to the weather, had suffered damage.

Solution = Bakers carried out consolidation to the masonry walls which consist mainly of flint. Repairs were carried out to the cracks and sections of the mortar capping on top of the walls. Bakers surveyed the walls for loose stones, and re-bed any loose stones identified. Loose mortar was removed, and repointing was carried out to make the masonry walls safe and weatherproof.

Bakers also carried out brick repairs to the tower door and laid reclaimed pamnent tiles to the floor which leads to the exposed staircase within the tower walls.

Union Chapel, London

Summary = Conservation works to the east window of the Union Chapel in London.

Value = Approximately £40,000

Location = London

Challenge = Secondary glazing has caused damage to the stained glass window.

Solution = Bakers of Danbury Ltd recently carried out conservation works to the east window of the Union Chapel in London. The beautiful stained glass window had opaque secondary glazing on the outside of the window, which not only prevented the sun shining through the window to show its decorative image, but had also caused damage to the stained glass.

Bakers removed the secondary glazing together with the debris which had gathered at the base of the window. The glass was cleaned and damaged stone was replaced with new indented carved sections of bath stone to match the existing stone.

By removing the secondary glazing and cleaning the glass, the beautiful, bright window has once again become a focal point for the Chapel.

Watch the video at the top of this page to hear about conservation works carried out to the east window of the Union Chapel.

Union Chapel remains on the Historic England At Risk Register, so if you would like to make a donation visit www.unionchapel.org.uk

St Nicholas Church, Harwich

Summary = Restoration to St Nicholas Church in Harwich, Essex included repair to water damaged walls, brick and stone repair and replacement, re-pointing and window surround replacement.

Value = £60,000

Location = Harwich, Essex

Solution = Completed in December 2020, Bakers managed a four month project carrying out restoration to St Nicholas Church in Harwich, Essex. The existing cement render to the parapet walls was cracking and blown in places, and the damaged render was trapping moisture behind it, which was in turn decaying the walls. After the render was removed, deep re-pointing was carried out to the brickwork joints. The fractured and defective yellow stock bricks were replaced with reclaimed yellow stocks. A breathable three coat lime render was applied over the top of the brickwork down to stainless steel bell drips.

Bakers repaired the brick parapet walls and octagonal chimneys. Bakers' sister company Collins and Curtis supplied window surrounds to two cast iron tracery windows in Stoke Ground stone. The cast iron windows were redecorated and re-pointing was carried out to that section of the South Aisle.

Internally, Bakers stripped areas of water damaged plastered walls, caused by defective lead downpipes. Three coat lime lime plaster was applied and the walls were redecorated to match the existing decoration. Those defective downpipes were replaced.

The timber access door to the spire parapet was replaced with a new oak door manufactured by Bakers' in-house joinery workshop. Minor electrical works were also carried out.

Past Restoration Projects at St Nicholas Church

In 2010 Bakers carried out a full redecoration of the whole church and installed three stone windows to the east end. Earlier in 2003 Bakers carried out substantial stone replacement to the tower and spire.

All Saints Church, Terling

Summary = Conservation and restoration work to All Saints Church in Terling included replacing the oak shingling to the church spire, associated roof timber repairs and masonry repairs to tower. Restoration and re-gilding of clock face and re-gilding to the weathervane.

Value = approximately £105,000

Location = Terling, Essex

Challenge = Temporary guttering had to be installed to the base of the spire for a year, to let rainwater wash the tannin out of the new oak shakes without discolouring the church tower.

Solution = To erect the scaffolding pockets were created to take the Haki-beams and corresponding loads upon them. Creating pockets helped to avoid destroying the vestry below to transfer the scaffold load to the ground.

Temporary guttering was installed to the base of the spire and remained in place for a year to catch the brown water that runs off the roof initially. This is caused by the oak ‘tannin’ that comes of the oak shakes and will decrease over time once washed out by the rain. Rodells Steeplejacks later removed guttering and downpipe.

Conservation and Restoration Work to the Spire

Conservation and restoration work to the spire at All Saints Church involved stripping the cedar shingles for the full height of the spire and carrying out timber roof repairs. A handful of re-connections of timber joints were installed, where structural heave had caused an oak dowel to fail in the joint, resulting in partial separation of the timbers. These were tied back together with a piece of stainless-steel strapping. All battens were placed with treated softwood and new oak shakes were installed.

The new shakes installed were split, not sawn. Shingles are sawn, whereas shakes can be split, split and sawn or simply sawn, depending on the type of grade required.

Stone Repairs and Replacement

Stone repairs were carried out, and the eroded existing stone quoins were cut out and replaced with new Hartham-Park stone quoins. Open joints in the brickwork were repointed. Tom Poysner who was at the time taking part in block release training at Stratford Crafts college to become a Banker Mason, predominantly fitted the replacement stone quoins along with another experienced Mason. A Banker Mason carries out the final preparation work on stone-masonry blocks by hand.

Conservation and Restoration Work to the Weathervane, Clock Face and Sundial.

The weathervane was removed, repaired, decorated and re-gilded. The existing lightning conductor tape was replaced with new.

A Specialist gilder/decorator bought the stone clock and sundial back to life by restoring and re-gilding them. The name “Rocky the Rocket” was given to the weathervane due to his strange appearance, as he looks like he has rockets strapped to his sides!

Student Site Visit

On 25th July a small group of 16-19 year olds who were studying a City & Guilds course with Essex Youth Build visited site at All Saints Church for a site tour and Q&A, whilst Bakers of Danbury Ltd were carrying out conservation and restoration works to the church.

Westminster Deanery

Summary = A refurbishment and roofing project at Westminster Deanery, which sits within the grounds of Westminster Abbey.

Location = Westminster, London

Challenge = Nationwide Lock down due to the Covid-19 pandemic

Solution = Works continued safely on site during the Covid-19 lockdown, due to sensible planning and safe working procedures put in place on site. Bakers are currently midway through the £1.8 million refurbishment and roofing project at Westminster Deanery, which sits within the grounds of Westminster Abbey.

  • Westminster Deanery roof works
  • Roof works carried out by Bakers involved stripping the existing roof, recasting original lead and re-leading the roof adjacent to the West Towers of the abbey. The pitched tiled roof area was also stripped, with structural repairs undertaken and then retiled with a mix of reclaimed peg tiles and new handmade tiles . A full overhaul of the rainwater goods is also being undertaken, with refurbished cast iron and lead downpipes, hoppers and chutes. Bakers increased the gradient of the roof (compliant with lead sheet association guidelines).

  • Westminster Deanery refurbishment works
  • The entire deanery including a grand function room are being renovated which includes five bedrooms, a kitchen, utility, dining area and the Dean's study and offices, along with two bathrooms and the addition of one new bathroom. Upgraded electrical and mechanical installations are being completed, along with improvements to insulation wherever possible. Full decoration is also being undertaken externally, including the 15th Century elevation being stripped of many layers of paint to reveal the original brickwork façade underneath.

    A new hardwood doorway and canopy will lead to the refurbished garden, which will be landscaped and have new drainage installed before the Deanery is handed back at the end of this year.

    To hear more about this and other projects visit our Latest News page or the Bakers of Danbury Facebook page.

    Westminster School

    Summary =Bakers of Danbury recently built an extension to the Grade I Listed Westminster School. The extension included two entrance lobbies, a new block of visitor w/c, a presentation/ reception room as well as four new offices and meeting rooms for school staff. Bakers also carried out refurbishment and renovation works to six rooms around the perimeter of the new build extension, as well as the installation of a new stairwell and lift.

    Location = Westminster, London

    Challenge =Westminster School is the only ancient school in London which still occupies its original site. The site of the new extension is very closely surrounded by Grade I Listed buildings, some dating back to the 11th century. Access was restricted due to working on a live school.

    Solution = Phase one involved carefully dismantling the modern concrete music center to protect the archaeology below ground and the listed buildings surrounding the site.

    During phase two, Bakers oversaw archaeological excavations,which were carried out in conjunction with Pre-Construct Archaeology. The archaeological excavations uncovered part of the original kitchen to the Monks Abbey dating back to the 11th century.

    A section of the new build floor (within the presentation/ reception room) was later covered with cantilevered glass to create a platform from which to view the archaeology below ground level. Close co-ordination between Bakers, the structural steelwork fabricator and the glass floor manufacturer was required because in some parts the glass floor were only 10mm away from the archaeology. Underfloor lighting and temperature control were installed to help preserve the archaeology.

    During phase three of the project, Bakers used traditional building techniques and materials to create the new build extension. The extension was constructed with handmade bricks, reclaimed tiles and handmade timber and lead light windows, and it's new lead roof which features an oak oval lantern, with complex lead soffit detail was installed.

    External restoration works were carried out to a number of surrounding school buildings together with an internal renovation to six rooms, plant-room and the installation of a new stairwell (with decorative balustrades) and lift. Bakers carried out extensive repointing and cleaning, as well as stone (Burford stone) and brick repair and replacement to the neighbouring Grade I Listed Ashburnham house.

    A full M&E package which covered both the new build extension and existing school buildings included a contractor led design disabled platform lift and a Daliv Control Lighting System which enables separate light settings for different parts of one room. The expansion of the plant-room provided a new heating system to the new extension together with an adaption to the existing school heating system. Landscaping was carried out to Little Deans Yard, which lays the front of Westminster School.

    The project was overseen by Bakers' Contract Manager Chris Norman. Throughout the project, monthly progress meetings took place with the Client, Ptolemy Dean Architects, Structural Engineers, M&E Consultant, Quantity Surveyor, Chris Norman and other representatives from Bakers of Danbury. The Contract Manager, Chris worked in close collaboration with the Project Quantity Surveyor to monitor the overall contract values, variation costs and the final contract sum.

    Less formal weekly meetings with the School Bursar took place with Chris Norman and the Site Manager to maintain communication between the Principal Contractor and Client, also enabling Bakers to organise works around any forthcoming School activities and restrictions. In addition to the Site Manager’s daily inspection of works, Chris Norman held a weekly site meeting with the Site Manager to inspect works, checking quality, health and safety and progress against the project programme.

    Sawston Village College

    Summary = Roof works and internal decoration to two college buildings

    Location = Cambridgeshire

    Challenge = The Grade II Listed buildings had to be protected from the weather whilst the roofs were stripped and replaced

    Solution = The project was divided into two phases and temporary roofs protected the Grade II Listed Henry Morris building during Phase one and the North Wing during Phase two of works.

    Phase one of works to Sawston Village College, an academy school founded in 1930, began April 2019. Works involved the installation of the temporary roof whilst the stripping and re-roofing of the Grade II Listed Henry Morris building took place. The existing pantiles were re-laid to the front elevation of the building and new handmade pantiles were installed to the back.

    Below the roof, the deteriorating lath and plaster ceiling to the main hall was replaced with new, which included the installation of new laths, scratch coat and a finish of thermalime plaster previously approved by the Conservation Officer. Existing facia boards were replaced and the cast iron gutters and downpipes were thoroughly sanded back to metal and painted. The bell tower underwent extensive repairs to the leaded lights, structural timber and boarding.

    The second phase of works included roof works to the North Wing of the College, similar to the roof works to the Henry Morris building. All roof works and internal decoration was completed in time to hand back to the College for the new Academic New Year.

    A Christmas Tree for the Village

    A Christmas Tree for the Village

    Bakers of Danbury Ltd donated a 20 foot Christmas Tree to the village this year to show the company's appreciation to the village for it's support over the 140 years. 2018 marked Bakers of Danbury's 140th anniversary. Bakers have always been based on Eves Corner in Danbury, Essex. Many local men and women have either worked for Bakers or have relatives who worked for Bakers many years ago!

    In 1878 William Baker opened business as a “Millwright, wheelwright, carpenter etc” with only £50 and a horse and loaned cart. William Baker worked on many mills local to Danbury. Although with the demise of mills there were few mill jobs after the 1890’s, at which point William Baker concentrated on building and a small amount of church works. Today the company is very similar with recent projects ranging from the conservation and restoration project in Westminster Abbey completed earlier this year, to the new build of four apartments in Maldon.

    You can keep up-to-date with other initiatives within Baker's Corporate Social Responsibility Programme, which we set up to help support both our local community and the communities in which we work by visiting our Corporate Social Responsibility page or by liking our Facebook page!

    Westminster Abbey

    Summary = Roof works to the medieval South Triforium and the Great Cloister within Westminster Abbey.

    Value = Approximately £1,450,000

    Location = Westminster, London

    Challenge = Access issues and restrictions due to the main access route into site being through the Great Cloister - a busy area of the Abbey accessible to the public from 9.30am every day.

    Solution = Under the instruction from Westminster Abbeys' Surveyor of the fabric Bakers carried out roof works to the medieval South Triforium and the Great Cloister within Westminster Abbey.

    70ft above the Abbey floor, the new gallery provides visitors with magnificent views down over the Abbey buildings and the Palace of Westminster. Roof works carried out by Bakers involved stripping the existing roof, recasting original lead and re-leading part of the South Triforium and part of the Main Cloister.

    A full overhaul of the rainwater goods was also carried out, with a combination of new and refurbished lead downpipes, hoppers and chutes fitted. A new hopper, corbel stone and 22 metre downpipe was introduced, formed to mirror the Christopher Wren era hoppers that were already in use.

    Bakers increased the gradient of the Triforium roof by increasing the fall of the lead bays (compliant with lead sheet association guidelines). Other structural repairs included reinforcing 300-year-old oak primary rafters using a flitch plate repair and other associated structural repairs to the oak roof.

    Other works include the provision of a new access hatch and fall arrest system, stone repairs and indents to internal and external elevations and the careful re-homing of monuments and statues from other parts of the Abbey onto the Triforium floor.

    The new freestanding external access ladder with a handrail was crafted from European Oak. It was a good project for our recently qualified joiner Jack Darvill to work on.

    With the improvements to the rainwater goods, Bakers also undertook the renewal of the below ground drainage within the Great Cloister, which will also included the exciting addition of a fountain positioned in the centre of the Cloister, formed on York Stone paving with a lead cistern fountain.

    Works were completed Spring 2018, in time for the opening of a new museum and gallery, located in the Abbey's medieval Triforium. After being hidden from public over 700 years, the Triforium became “The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries”.

    Jim Vincent, Clerk of the Works at Westminster Abbey said:

    Bakers of Danbury have successfully managed access issues and restrictions whilst carrying out the works at the Abbey. The main access route into site is through the Great Cloister, which is a busy area of the Abbey accessible to the public from 9.30am every day.

    We have found Bakers of Danbury to be considerate of the public and employees of the Abbey and have undertaken the works to the Abbey with the utmost care and attention at all times and look forward to continuing our working relationship with them in the future. The high standard of work is commensurate with the status of the building and is what is expected of contractors working at Westminster Abbey."

    Alan Titchmarsh Dedicates Fountain

    After recently completing roof works and the renewal of below-ground drainage within the Great Cloister to Westminster Abbey; Chris Norman, Contracts Manager for Bakers of Danbury Ltd, was invited to attend a Dedication Ceremony during which the new Cloister Garth Fountain was dedicated to the famous 18th-century landscape gardener Lancelot “Capability” Brown.

    Positioned in the centre of the Great Cloister to Westminster Abbey, the lead cistern fountain sits over an old monastic well in the garth. It is formed on York Stone paving provided by Bakers of Danbury’s sister company Collins and Curtis Masonry Ltd. The fountain was designed by Ptolemy Dean, the Abbey’s Surveyor of the Fabric with the assistance of TV gardener Alan Titchmarsh, who also attended the dedication and gave reflection.

    The Closter Garth Fountain marks the tercentenary of the birth of landscape gardener Lancelot “Capability” Brown. Known as “England’s greatest gardener”, “Capability” Brown designed over 170 parks and gardens – for many of which water plays a big part in their design. He was nicknamed “Capability” because he used to tell his clients their property had “capability” for improvement. Some of his work can still be admired in Kew Gardens in South West London, Chatsworth House in Derby, Warwick Castle and Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. Later he was Master Gardener at Hampton Court Palace and Richmond.

    The Ceremony took place following the Evensong taken by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall. A week later Alan Titchmarsh attended Westminster Abbey again, this time to meet the Queen during the formal opening of “The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries”, a new museum and gallery located in the Abbey's medieval Triforium.

    70ft above the Abbey floor, the new gallery provides visitors with magnificent views down over the Great Cloister, Abbey buildings and the Palace of Westminster. From the gallery, Alan Titchmarsh showed Queen Elizabeth the new Cloister Garth Fountain.

    The roof works carried out by Bakers which involved stripping the existing roof, recasting original lead and re-leading part of the South Triforium and part of the Main Cloister can also be viewed from The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries.

    Around the sides of the cistern on several panels is a quote from Horace Walpole:

  • WITH ONE LOST PARADISE THE NAME
  • OF OUR FIRST ANCESTOR IS STAINED;
  • BROWN SHALL ENJOY UNSULLIED FAME
  • FOR SO MANY A PARADISE REGAINED.
  • With the inscription:

  • 1716 1783 LANCELOT CAPABILITY BROWN.
  • HE SOUGHT AN IMAGE OF HEAVEN.