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Friendless Churches

Friendless Churches

Nov 25
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Site visit diary: Repairs are underway at St Michael & All Angels', Gwernesney, Monmouthshire. Last week we met with the architect, contractor and engineer to discuss the work. The project was instigated by the need for structural repairs to a decayed timber roof truss. #🧵

An old stone church in a graveyard. There is a window with round tops, and ivy on the wall.
The woodwork embedded in the wall had rotted. As a result the surrounding stonework was displaced. The project team has devised a flitch-plate repair: embedding a steel plate into the timber to restore structural integrity and retain as much historic woodwork as possible. 2/
Close up of a timber beam that has popped out of the stonework.
Two scaffold poles and a wooden board propping up a timber beam.
The coping stones are mixture of local Callow red sandstone, a brown-green Forest of Dean sandstone and… eh, some concrete slabs. Many slabs are face-bedded, meaning the stone is delaminating. We must replace several of these, and reuse the existing wherever they are sound. 3/
A diagonal piece of stone. A coping stone.
The walling of this Old Red Sandstone church dates to the 13th century, and the masonry is bedded in a beautiful, fine, soft pink lime-mortar. The contractor, Taliesin, will be replicating this mortar for their new work. 4/
Close up of pieces of stone. A fine layer of pink mortar.
Other than discussing repairs, site visits always reveal little moments of delight. Last week at Gwernesney, these included some fleshy, peppery pennywort sprouting from cracks; a tiny green carpet month tucked under the eaves… 5/
A bright green plant growing out of a wall.
A small green moth.
… a perfect iron spiral with traces of iron-oxide; the low winter sun finding its way through the gaps in the scaffold hoarding to sparsely illuminate the altar. 6/6
And old hinge.
A dark interior. Light through the window. Two candles and a crucifix on the altar.
Friendless Churches

Friendless Churches

We are the Friends of Friendless Churches, caring for 60 redundant but beautiful places of worship in England & Wales. Learn more in the link below.
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