Mid July, and the restoration work is well under way.  Here's some more photos from Danny (and a couple from Kevin) illustrating what's going on - as always, hover the cursor over the images to read the caption.  

First, more examples of damage, not just to timbers, but also to stone and brick:

Rotted TimberGutter DamageDamaged StoneRotted Stone


And here below are photos of some of the new materials.  The stone is mostly Bath Stone sourced and prepared by Wells Cathedral Stonemasons in Somerset.  It has the advantage of being a "freestone" meaning it is easily worked and can be sawn or "squared up" in any direction.  This is the same Bath stone as originally used by Barry, as the following extract from the Holy Trinity Vestry minutes of March 1971 makes clear (from a Holy Trinity Chronology prepared for the Diocese by Rebecca Preston - well worth consulting, incidentally - see also here - a wonderful source of information about how the church was built):

"The church is a fairly characteristic example of a good Commissioners’ Perpendicular, simple but not mean. The body of the building is of stock brick and the window tracery, string courses and turrets are of Bath stone."

The timber is mostly Douglas Pine, as noted in an earlier post.  The image below shows a Box Joint, usually used for joining beams at right angles but in this case used to extend the length of a single beam.

New Stone CroppedWedge DetailMortice and Tenon


Although most of the Gault Bricks (aka "Suffolk Whites") are in fairly good condition, the mortar is not, and a great deal of repointing is necessary.  Fullers are using special lime mortar (slaked lime with specially selected sand), for several reasons:

  • This is what was used originally, so it looks good and blends in well (look at the quality in the detail photo on the right!)
  • It is flexible so less likely to crack as the building moves (past repairs have used cement mortar, with unfortunate results as you can see in the picture with Danny's hand earlier)
  • The mortar allows to bricks to "breathe" - in other words water does not get trapped within the brickwork, leading inevitably to damage.

Wall Under RepairLime Mortar Detail Reduced


Here's some of the results.  The photo on the left shows repaired rafters - most of this work is completed.  A new gutter has been fitted and will be lined with lead.  In the middle of the gutter is a new "Catch Pit" for collecting debris so that the gutter does not get blocked up again and rainwater flows freely out of hoppers at the ends into drainpipes.  The catch pit will be lined with stainless steel (who will go up there and clean away the debris though I wonder?).

New Catch Pit in Gutter

Repaired Rafters and Gutter


Finally, here's a photo of a new section of stone inserted into the space where damaged stone has been removed.  Interestingly, the stone is bonded into place using adhesive, then finished off with mortar.  And below that, a great interior shot showing a new Purlin between the lower and upper rafters.  The black structure is one of Barry's moulded plaster beams which can be see apparently supporting the ceiling from the interior of the church.  These actually have wood inside them with plaster artfully moulded around the wood.  As I understand it, Fullers are using steel beams to lie alongside the plaster beams to give extra support.  I've seen them being winched up to the roof and they certainly look extremely sturdy!New Stone in Place Detail


New Purlin and Plaster Beam