St.Michael's & All Angels Church, Letcombe Bassett, Oxfordshire

 St.Michael's & All Angels Church, Letcombe Bassett

This fine, mainly 17th century church is especially noted for its Norman chancel, chancel arch and doorway. The east and west windows in the chancel date from the 13th century. The tower is also likely to date from the same building phase. The south wall of the nave contains two 15th century window lights. The church was extensively remodelled by William Butterfield in 1861. In the 1950s the lead roof was covered by a shallow pitched tiled roof. A hard, cementitious render was also applied at this time.

The involvement by Minerva in 2003 was primarily related to the removal of the failing cement render. The walls behind were found to be constructed of mainly clunch, flint and lesser areas of brick and limestone. The general condition of the walls was poor and a good deal of re-building was required in order to ensure the complete consolidation of the walls prior to rerendering. The consolidation was achieved through a combination of extensive tile repairs and careful replacement of clunch blocks. The plinth area was particularly fragile and heavily eroded.

Walls were then rendered with three coats lime mortar, following a phase of heavy dubbing out in order to attempt to flatten the walls out to a certain degree. A close faced render was used in the topcoat, finished with straight grain wooden float in order to acheive an open, porous texture.

The finished render was then decorated with a coloured limewash, 4 coats. Minerva also carried out rebuilds and consolidation of stonework to the parapet and gable ends.