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Conservation work at Grade I listed Killerton Chapel

— 26 Apr 2023


Grade I listed Killerton chapel is a gothic high Victorian with Italianate influences, now in need of repairs to ensure the building’s future


Now that suitable stone has been sourced the repairs to the chapel can commence

Architects conservation work Grade I listed chapel 1353B1

Last year Jonathan Rhind Architects celebrated our appointment as preferred consultant to the National Trust for the Southwest. Working with the Trust’s own in-house team of professionals and liaising with external consultants and suppliers, we have been working on a variety of projects, including the Grade I listed grand Italianate gothic Killerton Chapel in Devon.

This is an historic building repair project involving surveying, detailed drawings and specification for sensitive conservation repairs. Jonathan Rhind Architects have worked with a team of professionals to set up the project and undertake development of historic building philosophy to inform the decision making.

Killerton Chapel was built in the mid-19th Century by Killerton House owner Sir Thomas Acland – enamoured of the religious zeal of the times. Built of a rare Lamprophyric Basalt and decorative carved limestone from Bath, Portland and Beer, the walls are suffering from the effects of long-term weathering, putting the decorative cornices, copings and Belvedere capped tower turrets in danger of loss and damage.  

Jonathan Rhind Architects have undertaken a thorough survey of the property, to inform the phasing of the projects and prioritise essential works. Having specified the work, Jonathan Rhind Architects put the project out to tender, and specialist conservation company Corbel Conservation have been appointed to the project. Stone repairs are being undertaken in conjunction with works to improve the valley gutters, rainwater and drainage systems, as well as repairs to the windows and doors and an overhaul of the outdated services.

Petrologist Dr Stephen Parry from the British Geological Society was asked to conduct a study of stone sources used to build the chapel to identify their origins, some thought to be quarried from the Killerton Estate, and to identify key characteristics and likely sources of suitable replacement stone for the repairs. Many sources of the Lamprophyric Basalt are no longer available, however, a local farmer has recently reopened a quarry on his land which is now a vital source, and will provide the stone required for the repairs.

With contractors and specialists appointed, stone sourced and funding secured, the project is progressing with careful consideration to wildlife needs, the weather, and keeping to a tight programme to coordinate with visitors to the Estate. Watch this space for more updates as the work progresses.

To read more about the Killerton Estate please see the National Trust website.

For more information on the reopening of the Knowle Quarry in Copplestone see this Devon Live article.

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