Jan 1, 1970

Frome's new Hubnub Centre

Apr 1, 2017

It's been our pleasure to have spent the past couple of years working on and off on the old Zion Chapel in the middle of our home town of Frome. It has been converted successfully into the new Hubnub community centre, by Ed and Io - (the most perfect clients imaginable).

Our Frome based team of Samantha, Nell, Mike, Bryony, Orion, Seth and Peter all enjoyed the change of a walk into work.

The work comprised two parts.

1.The outer facade was coming apart due to water ingress, so after unpicking and extensive stone replacement it now has a bright future.

2. Internally we replaced many failed areas with new haired lime plaster, conserved the fine ceiling and redecorated traditionally.

The biggest challenge was to save the vaulted ceiling above the organ. Inserting stainless steel fixings from beneath into the ceiling joists was the only option. We disguised the fixings with a gilded decoration of stars - which everyone loves and has added to the success of the conversion to the galleried interior.

Bryony and Mike after Ceiling works completed. Nell, leading our team.

(Below) view of the Hubnub from the Lamb and Fountain.

Our early Church tower repair project for 2017.

Nov 10, 2016

We have been gearing up for next years early project on St George's four stage Church Tower at Hinton St George, Somerset. It is dated to 1485–95.

This will be a pure lime based conservation project with plenty of pointing and mortar repairs to match the Hamstone.

The tower is supported by full-height offset corner buttresses and has battlemented parapets with quatrefoil panels below merlons on the corner and intermediate pinnacles. The weathervane was added in 1756 by Thomas Bagley of Bridgwater. There is a hexagonal south-east corner stair turret. Stage 2 has small light on the north side and a statue niche on the south. All the faces on the two upper stages 2-light mullioned, transomed and traceried window under pointed arched labels, with pierced stone baffles. During earlier restoration work the parapet of the tower was examined and a stone was discovered with a carved date of 1731 which suggests that the decorative parapet may have been added then. The tracery on the north side has been marked out but never cut.

In general there is little sign of more than one phase of construction although repairs are evident.

Minerva repairs town bridge in Bradford on Avon

Oct 24, 2016

The Bradford on Avon town bridge, a Scheduled Ancient Monument, was damaged by the impact of a stolen vehicle in October 2016.

We managed the emergency works after the stones had been retrieved from the river bed. We were required to act quickly to reverse the image of the impact and keep the road open.
See further details here:

Pinnacles and Buttresses

Jun 14, 2013

Vaults, Pinnacles and Tile Repairs at Sherborne Abbey, Dorset.

Vaulting repairs Sherborne Abbey.

We have just completed a complicated 6 month project at Sherborne Abbey, known locally as the Cathedral of Dorset. Hamstone, that most beautiful of limestones showed its usual weaknesses, as it contains thin beds of less well cemented material and some small clay inclusions. These areas weather differentially to give weathered hamstone its characteristic furrowed appearance, but have lead later Victorian pinnacles to come apart due to the additional burden of it being bedded incorrectly.

Internally there were interesting problems securing parts of the shifting Lierne vaulting of the N and S aisles due to the weight of the tower and inadequate footings, thankfully now all resolved. The removal of hundreds of years worth of soot to the ribs and limewashing the webs completed the works. A large part of the works involved the removal of modern emulsion paint and redecoration with a homemade limewash. As the walls had not been allowed to breathe for many decades it will take some time before the moisture stored in the yard thick walls reduces to an acceptable level and residual staining disappears.