Re-roofing a roofless ruin

Anonymous benefactor enables a new roof for Church of The Assumption, Hartwell

Interior of Church of the Assumption, HartwellThe Church of the Assumption was built in soft stone in 1775 - designed by Henry Keene in the early Gothic Revival style.

By the time it came to us, in 1975, it was a roof-less ruin and in very poor condition - rusting metal cramps in stones and the natural decay of the soft stone had been seriously aggravated and accelerated by its exposure to the elements and water saturation for over 50 years.

Best course of action

In 2000 we decided that the most effective and immediate solution was to re-roof the church. The grounding of our decision was sufficiently compelling to outweigh our normal philosophical approach to Roof of Church of the Assumption, Hartwell, during roof repairs'repair as found'.

What we did:

  • Constructed a new roof to the original design and with Westmorland slates laid to diminishing courses
  • Repaired the east tower roof
  • Repaired the upper level of the octagon stonework inside

Interior of roof of Church of the Assumption, Hartwell, during repairsAlthough we did not conserve the stone and it remains in its state of decay, the new roof prevents any further damage and reduces the cost of future stone repairs. We are confident that the new roof will greatly assist our future care of this important church - already the benefits are beginning to show as the internal stonework dries out.

Project team

CCT Conservation Manager: Catherine Cullis (no longer at the CCT)
Architect: Rodney Melville + Partners
Structural Engineer: Alan Wright
Contractor: Boshers (Cholsey) Ltd

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