I was taken on as architect to this grade I listed medieval church in Saxilby and I undertook a Quinquennial Inspection which identified urgent stonework repair to St Botolphs, including essential stonework repairs to the South Chancel and South Nave, this included replacement of carved and ashlar stone and repointing to the Chancel and North Chapel. During the inspection it was also noted that a number of Merlons to the Nave parapet were loose and needed fixing. A specification and schedule was prepared to detail the stone repairs and approval was granted by the DAC.
Over time stone surfaces are worn by wind and rain and sometimes the stone cannot be saved and needs replacing, when this is the case, we source matching stones and carve it to perfectly fit the original. Before starting work records of masonry to be repaired are undertaken in the form of measurements and photographs to record bonding patterns, joint widths, special features, etc. We identify the number of masonry units to be removed, replaced or repaired, these are then marked clearly, but not indelibly, on the face of masonry units or parts of the units to be cut out and replaced. A copy of all changes are transcribe to drawings/ photographs for a permanent record.
It’s always great to see a project progressing and I get great enjoyment out of seeing a project that uses traditional crafts and I was delighted to be able to ‘have a go’ at hand carving the stone with the head stone-mason on the job, although complementary about my attempt, I have no doubt that when I left he would have ‘tidied up’ what I did – that’s because he is a perfectionist where his work is concerned!