The specialist restoration team carrying out repairs to St Bartholomew’s Church in Crewkerne, demonstrated their stone masonry skills to an interested group of local people. The stone conservators from Sally Strachey Historic Conservation, leading consultants and conservators of historic buildings, monuments and sculpture, showed how important it was to know the type and properties of the stone work before beginning the restoration process and matching the original stone colouring.
Those who attended the free demonstration were able to see samples of the stones used to originally build the 15th century parish church and find out by working with pots of powder paints how the colours are mixed into the mortar to match the original stone colouring. Stones used on historic buildings in Somerset tend to be lighter in colour with the once popular ham stone from Ham Hill quarry having a honey tone colour.
The restoration of the west window at St Bartholomew’s Church is nearing completion. The specialist conservation team have been applying the same techniques used by the men who built the church 600 years ago with added extras to aid conservation and future preservation of the stone work. A spokesperson for Sally Strachey Historic Conservation, who are based in Wells said: “We seek to understand the structure and materials as fully as possible before selecting an appropriate method of stone conservation. Our aim is to slow down the natural weathering and decay process while also treating it in such a way that the overall legibility and aesthetic quality of the building is re-established.”