Leckhampstead - Buckinghamshire
A Devil of a Job:
A Devil of a Job
The beautiful parish church of St. Mary's Leckhampstead in
Buckingharnshire, dating back to 1170, had it's Norman Tower - complete
with devil gargoyles - restored by Gun-Point, the world's first mechanised
The tower, built with cut stone quoins and
buttresses with rubblestone between was suffering the twin problems of age
and incorrect repairs in the past. The walls were covered with lichens and
surface growths and many of the ancient stones were badly eroded because
of the use of strong cement mortars in previous repointing.
firstly removed the surface grime with a low pressure water lance. In the
hands of their skilled operators this was found to offer the most thorough
result with the least damage to the structure.
Missing stones were
replaced to match the original ones prior to Gun-Point's patented mortar
pump and gun injecting a lime rich mortar into the raked joints. The
mortar chosen was a Grade CY) 1:3:10, the weakest of the gauged mortars,
as it best matched the strength and character of the original lime bedding
mortar .The finish was a traditional "bagged" strike to repeat what was
believed to be the original.
Peter Bradley of Buckingham, the
Supervising Architect, was originally a little apprehensive about the use
of power tools on such an old and loved building. "The work has been done
thoroughly with hardly any damage and the results are very pleasing" he
The main contractors were Harrich Builders of
Buckingham. The Supervising Architect was Mr. Peter Bradley. Acting as the
Consulting Architect for the English Heritage, was Brian Austin of the
architectural practice Featherstone Austin Woodward of Northampton. The
work was jointly funded by the Oxford Diocese. English Heritage and the
parishioners of Leckhampstead Village.