Compliments on our work to Reybridge, Laycock over the summer of 2018

Sep 11, 2018

We were very pleased to receive this message from a local resident after completing our large project this summer at Reybridge near Laycock, Wiltshire.

Bridge Masonry repair Kennet and Avon Canal.

Jun 17, 2018

This spring we were called to repair damage caused by at drunk driver that had crashed through the parapet of bridge 107 in Bradford on Avon.

It was a difficult project in a confined space as the lock had to remain in use and the road stay open.

Nell Pickering-Letter cutting into stone, sculpture and conservation

Jun 17, 2018

Nell Pickering - Letters cut by hand into stone and sculptor.

Nell is available for design work and commissions to suit the requirements of her clients.

Nell works in the traditional manner, setting out with with pencil and paper and cutting letters with mallet and chisels.

Call me on 07867336148


Conserving 'the three ancient goddesses of fate, the Parcae '

Mar 12, 2018

We recently conserved this remarkable sculpted block, found in Calne, Wiltshire that may have come from a substantial and important Roman funerary monument.

It was identified by The Reverend Professor Martin Henig as depicting the three ancient goddesses of fate, the Parcae, a subject thought unique in Roman Britain and rare in Northern Europe.

When found, the face was covered in organic matter, which had been damaging the stone. By a variety of gentle means we slowly removed the moss and algae - the roots of which were tenacious and not easy to deal with. The stone substrate was quite friable in places, so the removal of too much organic material would be detrimental to the surface.

It is now on display in the Roman Gallery of Wiltshire museum. The moss removal revealed a series of drilled holes along the topmost margin where there is also the faint suggestion of a inscription.

The stone has been recorded by Tony Hack to bring out the detail in the carving and possible inscription and to further allow the interpretation of the figures shown on the stone. Some of this work in 3D is available to view here.

We wondered (incorrectly) if the figure on the left was Hercules. There may have been faded inscription along the top margin but the only letters we could make out for certain were an ‘I' and a ‘V’ slightly to the left of the central figure. The margin had been drilled at regular intervals all the way round and one of the drill holes has a small nail or what may be a broken drill bit in it. There is a small amount of lime mortar on the right cheek that suggests that it was once fixed to a neighbouring stone.

During a gathering to discuss the piece, The Reverend Professor Martin Henig concluded that the block displayed three standing female deities, mother goddesses known as the Fates, or the Parcae. Their individual names are (left to right:) Lachesis who measured the thread of life, seen with her measure over her shoulder, Klotho, who span the thread of life on her spindle, but here carries scales and holding a scroll, Atropos who cut life's thread and chose the way a person would die. The thick thread can be clearly seen to be held by the right hand figures.The Parcae controlled the metaphorical thread of life of every mortal and immortal from birth to death. Even the gods feared the Parcae. Jupiter also was subject to their power.

Above Photo courtesy of Mr Tony Hack.

The Reverend Professor Martin Henig commences the conservation of the block.

Clarendon Palace, flint walling and plaster consolidation.

Dec 13, 2017

This winter we have been working to consolidate the vulnerable ruined landscape of the Clarendon Palace, nr Salisbury, Wiltshire. Although the conditions were particularly cold and harsh, our extensive lime mortar repairs and pointing suffered only minor failure. Turf cappings were introduced to protect the core of the flint walls and have proven to be an effective method of conserving the ruins.

The current custodians on a visit..

The Medieval manor and hunting lodge was established during C12 as a Royal Palace and expanded during early C13. It has an irregular layout of buildings arranged around a courtyard. In 1574 it was described as a simple hunting lodge. In that year, Queen Elizabeth visited the site, but the buildings were in such poor condition that she had to dine in a temporary "banquett house" The ruination has continued ever since. Today, what survives of the royal residence used by kings and queens from Henry I to Henry VI are extensive earthworks, flint walls, and the eastern wall of the Great Hall.

We have been working under the instruction of the Architect and SPAB Scholar Jo Hibbert to consolidate and rebuild the remaining flint and walls and the scraps of historic plaster that remain. The ruins will be completed with new turf cappings to the wall heads.

Wall consolidation

The hard capping (wall tops constructed from stone and mortar) had failed, so working with volunteers, SPAB Scholars and the projects funders (English heritage) a soft turf capping was introduced.

Consolidating flint walls.

It was really good to learn about the site from a fellow Antiquarian, Professor Tom Beaumont James FSA who had conducted excavations here in the 1980s.