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Emmanuel Church Stonework Refurbishment

The Emmanuel Church, built in 1860, is quite prominent on the N side of the Wilton Road, just after St Paul’s roundabout. Its front elevation is constructed of brick and stone, the latter contributing its most distinctive  feature, a half-domed projecting porch. While the brick was in good condition, the Bath stone, typical of the period, had fared less well and was clearly in need of attention. The church sensibly conserved its resources by having the work carried out in two phases, spread across two years. The initial process was to use a conservation-accredited high temperature steam system to clean all the stonework, which both greatly improved its appearance, and also reduced the chances of further decay. Badly damaged stone elements were replaced with newly worked pieces, while lesser areas of damage were repaired in non-cement mortar. The final process was to apply to the stonework a lime/stonedust shelter coat, which both unifies the appearance, and creates a sacrificial layer to slow down any more decay. Comparison of before and after photos, both of the whole front and of individual elements, showed the judges that the overall appearance was now greatly improved, and that moreover an entirely appropriate approach had been adopted, which removed the worst defects without attempting to make the whole building look brand-new. No further work should be needed for quite a while, and a commendation seemed exactly the right response to this very laudable project.


[No architects]