This week Phase 3 of our restoration works began, which will see more of our roofs repaired and made watertight, and work to important windows. In particular, the Schoolroom’s roof will be repaired: it is currently in a very sorry state, but will eventually cover the entrance and main part of our Visitor Centre. The cloisters will also be worked on, including the windows which face on to the Garth. The Garth having been restored in the past year, Pugin’s original windows which look on to it will be repaired.
The East Window – one of the glories of the site – will be removed to be repaired and cleaned before being carefully replaced. It is one of the windows that Pugin himself put in the church and catches the visitor’s eye with its intricate designs.
With St. Augustine’s Week coming up 25th-31st May, the work has been carefully planned to present as little disruption as possible. The cloisters will remain accessible even whilst work is being undertaken on the windows. The church will also be open as usual.
Phases 1 and 2 have secured the future of the church itself and its tower by repairing those roofs – often using Pugin’s original tiles and techniques. The tower had a completely new roof put on, after making do with a leaking temporary roof for many decades. The Garth was also re-done, with ground-level lighting installed, turf put down, and the well head capped with the original stone. A major project was undertaken on some of the windows to repair and replace some of the glass (in particular in the Lady Chapel and the windows of Saints Stephen and Lawrence), as well as the stonework and Pugin’s clever drainage system to remove condensation. These phases were completed at the beginning and end of 2013 respectively.
We are looking forward to working with our new contractors, Universal Stone, and securing the future of more of site.