Time takes its toll

JCA Team:
Rory Duncan
Nigel Hammett RIBA SCA
Project Design Team:
Johnston Cave Associates (Architects)
Project type:
Quinquennial Inspection conservation & repairs
Location:
Oxfordshire
Project year: 2015

There is thought to have been a church at Spelsbury in Saxon times, but no trace remains.

What we see today is a building that dates from the late 11th and early 12th centuries. 

Built on earlier Norman foundations, the oldest parts of the building are the west tower and the pillars that support it. This tower was almost certainly part of a much larger cruciform church which was later shortened considerably.

The naive and aisles are in lovely English style and date to the 13th century, while the transepts are 14th century and most of the windows are perpendicular work, from the 12th century.

In the 18th century the Lee family, the Earls of Lichfield, rebuilt the entire church and in 1851, the chancel was rebuilt again, but in typical Victorian gothic style.

Like most English churches the passage of time has taken its toll which is why quinquennial inspections are so important to identify and nip problems in the bud.

Johnston Cave Associates and their SCA accredited architect, Nigel Hammett, were asked to produce the latest inspection report. Following our conclusions, we were also asked to apply for funding via the Listed Places of Worship roof repair fund scheme to help with what was expected to be an expensive, but essential programme of lead replacement and stone repairs.

While most roofs could be repaired, the tower required re-roofing which brought the costs to £250,000

With successful grant funding in place, the work could proceed.

What you now see today is a wonderfully dry church that will again stand the test of time.