St James Church, Moulton Chapel

St James’ Church, Moulton Chapel, is a Grade II* listed church in the Lincoln Diocese.

St James, built in 1772 with later additions is a delightful, octagonal gem of a church with Dutch influences.

By 1886 the church was in a poor state of repair and a local appeal raised money for the repair and major refurbishment. During the restoration the Chancel was added to the east and the cupola and bell were removed, internally new pews and paved floors were provided and in 1923 Vestries were added to the north and south sides of the Chancel.

Soul Architects were appointed in April 2015 to undertake the HLF Grant Aided Repairs.

Scaffolding and temporary roof covering was provided while the repairs were undertaken. The structural repairs were carried out before the roofs were re-covered with new Welsh Slate and the vestry roofs re-covered in zinc, on new boarding. The bell cote was repaired and a new timber cupola designed and reinstated. Careful brick and stone repairs were carried out and where possible, damaging cement mortar was removed.

The decorative paint scheme was ‘very bold’ and although consistent with Victorian décor was considered inappropriate for the Georgian Nave. We therefore developed a scheme retaining the Victorian stencil pattern behind the Altar and complimenting it with a more appropriate colour within the Georgian Nave, which is more in keeping with the Georgian era and which would have been there previously.

The works were completed in July 2017.

St Thomas Becket Church, Tugby

St Thomas Becket Church, Tugby, is a Grade II* listed church in the Diocese of Leicester.

In line with an HLF Grant application for the tower repairs, the PCC were granted a contribution to improvements within the church by way of a small internal re-ordering scheme, which included a new toilet in the base of the tower and kitchen facilities within the west end of the church.

The new works proposed within the Tower included the removal of some poorly constructed brick partitions and the installation of mains fresh water and drainage. In addition, the parallel but separate project to re-order the rear of the church included the removal of the rear pews, repositioning the font and installing a mobile welcome desk.

The dark pews and timber flooring have been removed from the west end of the church and replaced with Ancaster flagstones, laid to a planned design, with flexible seating. The dark timber boarding on the lower walls, have been painted a sage green and new lighting has been added which really ‘lifts’ the rear of the church.

Toilet facilities have been added in the base of the tower and a ‘mobile’ welcome desk and kitchen units were added to the west end, painted in sage green to blend in against the painted walls. The sink has a ‘foldable’ tap and an oak worktop closes down over the sink to provide very useable storage. The welcome desk can be moved out when in use or pushed back into a space under the worktop when not in use, therefore creating more flexibility.

Having considered various options for the drainage, including connection to the mains sewer, it was concluded that a trench arch drainage system would meet the needs of the church. All excavation works were carried out under the supervision of the archaeologist and required an archaeological watching brief.

St Giles Church, Cropwell Bishop

St Giles Church, Cropwell Bishop, is a Grade I listed church in the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham.

Following the success of the structural repairs that we undertook with the PCC at Cropwell Bishop church, we were asked to look at a small re-ordering within the church, extra space was needed to provide additional amenities within the church.

The brief was to develop a scheme within the tower to provide a new ringing floor, with toilets and kitchen facilities underneath to enhance the current church layout, making it more accessible for user groups and general church use.

We used the existing spiral stair to provide a new access onto the new ringing floor. A glazed balustrade was added looking into the church, which allows more light and more visibility of the west window from within the church

The new oak screen with ‘hidden’ servery, takes its inspiration from existing features of the church so as to enhance the simplicity of the building. The hand crafted kitchen with muted coloured panelling and cupboards blends the old and the new together. The flooring was replaced with natural stone. Recessed spotlights were used because of the ceiling height and very discreet maintained emergency light fittings have also been installed.

The door within the screen provides access into the kitchen and provides DDA compliant wheelchair access through to the WC.

St Thomas Becket Church, Tugby

St Thomas Becket Church, Tugby, is a Grade II* listed church in the Diocese of Leicester.

Tugby church tower roof was in urgent need of repair, and received HLF funding to undertake the works.

The project included major structural repairs to the tower medieval timbers, which required structural steel supports, before replacing the roof covering with stainless steel which was previously asphalt.

Stonework repairs were required to the parapet capping and the lower string courses, we replaced sections of rubble walling before re-pointing. The belfry walls were stripped of their inappropriate cement, before being re-rendered in lime.

Rainwater goods were decorated and the contractor replicated a cast lead hopper, making a mould before casting the lead to form the hopper to match the existing. To improve damp issues in the base of the tower, we reduced the ground levels to the north side of the church and renewed the surface water drainage system which included new soakaways to all downpipes.

Bats in belfry meant that the erection of the scaffold required us to maintain access around belfry window and due to the presence of the ‘natterers bats’ the timing of the works was agreed with the ecologist and had a narrow window of opportunity.

All Saints Church

All Saints Church, Otley

All Saints’ Church, Otley, is a Grade I listed church in the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales.

Taken on as architect for this superb Grade I listed Norman church, built on the site of Anglo-Saxon foundations in the 11th Century and enlarged in 1241.

Carl was originally appointed to repair and refurbish the West End of the church previously converted to Parish Rooms. Building on this success, Otley PCC had a desire to implement a wider reordering scheme making the church more inclusive and capable of being a multifunctional building. Located in the town centre there were significant opportunities to make more use of the available space.

The brief for the major re-ordering was to bring the altar forward, remove the fixed pews and raised pew platforms, improve the heating of the space and provide internal porches to the north and south with improved toilets. The proposals developed retained the previous subdivision at the rear of the church and made use of the space above with additional facilities and storage space.  The pews were removed and a new limecrete floor laid incorporating under floor heating. The new porches to the north and south reflect the current style of the rear alterations and retain visual symmetry and with large areas of glazing provide better views into the church.

Church Conservation

St Peter’s Church, East Drayton

2015 King of Prussia Gold Medal – Runner up

St Peter’s Church, East Drayton, is a Grade I listed church in the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham.

This church is a magnificent example of late medieval architecture and is often described as having a very ‘complete medieval exterior’. Building work began in the late 12th Century and continued over the next 300 years, with later additions in both the 13th and 15th Century.

The Nave trusses were significantly damaged by Death Watch Beetle and having successfully secured an English Heritage grant, Carl was appointed to undertake the repair and re-covering of the nave roof.

The development phase began with the complete investigation of the roof timbers from an internal scaffold to understand the construction and full extent of the problem. The trusses were closely inspected by a structural engineer and timber specialist. A micro bore survey was completed revealing large areas of erosion to a number of the trusses and it was obvious from very early on that there was severe structural damage.

The existing trusses and rafters were carefully repaired on site using traditional methods and retaining the decorative colour scheme to the principle components. It was important that the humidity was controlled to allow the timbers to dry, we have therefore improved the external drainage to keep the walls dryer and added opening vents to the clerestory windows to improve the air flow and ventilation.

St Botolphs Church

St Botolphs Church, Saxilby

St Botolph Church, Saxilby, is a Grade I listed church in the Diocese of Lincoln.

Taken on as architect to this Grade I listed church in Saxilby, the Quinquennial Inspection identified urgent stonework repair, including essential stonework repairs to the South Chancel and South Nave. The works 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 for the works to the Merlons to be included with the current repairs to the Nave.

Unfortunately, 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 or replaced are undertaken and a copy kept for a permanent record.

Holy-Trinity-Lenton

Holy Trinity Church, Lenton

Holy Trinity Church, Lenton, is a Grade II* listed church in the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham.

This is a magnificent Gothic Revival style listed church on the outskirts of Nottingham. We have been appointed as conservation architects to carry out the major re-roofing works following a substantial HLF grant.

Through the investigation works we identified significant failure of the main structural roof timbers which were damaged by dry rot due to poor roof covering and badly constructed gutters and lack of ventilation. We also discovered that the timber ground floor had been adapted and supporting walls removed and some stabilisation would be required before an internal scaffold could be constructed. The damage to the structural roof timbers was so significant that the risk of the roof collapsing was carefully considered and resulted in the church being closed until the works were complete.

Church Repairs

St Giles Church, Cropwell Bishop

St Giles Church, Cropwell Bishop, is a Grade I listed church in the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham.

New cracks emerged in the arch between the chancel and the nave just before Christmas 2013 revealing major structural defects which needed urgent remedial action.

Repairs were urgently needed because the wall was in a dangerous state and the church was forced to close until the structure could be investigated further. Following a structural report recommendations were made for a custom-built support structure which was installed under the chancel arch to mitigate the risk of collapse while details were prepared.

The urgent repairs were identified while undertaking the Grant Aided investigation works, unfortunately the scope of repair exceeded the original English Heritage grant offer and additional funding had to be secured to allow the works to be completed.

The arch was rebuilt on a like for like basis. The roof coverings were temporarily removed adjacent the works and the walling material was taken down by hand and salvaged where possible for reuse and new sections of stone were added to replace the loose rubble core. On completion of the walling the roof covering was reinstated with new lead flashings. The rebuilt wall was tied in at the corner with epoxy grouted anchors and the internal wall surface was plastered in lime and decorated on completion.

Church Extension

St John the Baptist, Dronfield

St John the Baptist, Dronfield, is a Grade I listed church in the Diocese of Derby

This church is unusual as the Chancel is larger than the Nave. The church has been enlarged over the years and Soul Architects have been appointed to carry out a major re-ordering project.

A number of reports have been undertaken to move this project forward, including a Statement of Significance to identify areas of importance and areas of opportunity within the church to help to identify where change could happen. We looked at the various ways the church could be adapted or extended to meet the brief and each option was carefully considered and scored against the heritage impact – this information was then used to inform the Design.

Following early discussions with English Heritage, the Church Building Council, SPAB and Derby Diocese we have been able to reach an ‘in principle agreement’ for the size and location of a new building. We are looking to develop the scheme further with continued support and the project team are currently looking at appropriate funding paths

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