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NLHF repairs to Grade I Listed Church

— 17 Jun 2019


Before and after re-roofing improvements


During: marking lead with SmartWater and lead dressing for bays


Existing sealed and leaking access hatch replaced with new lead cloaked hatch with gas struts


Poorly detailed lead joints causing water penetration and timber decay replaced with new mop stick bays

roof conservation replacement lead thumbnail Large

Following the successful application for National Lottery Heritage Funding, the first phase of work is complete on the historically important St Margaret’s Church in Northam.

The Grade I listed Church occupies a prominent position overlooking Bideford Bay and its 15th Century tower, visible for many miles and a familiar local landmark has historically been used as a marker for ships to find their way.

In 2014 St Margaret’s was added to Historic England’s Heritage at Risk register, as a result of the poor condition of the roof. During a Victorian restoration of the building the ceilings were fixed directly to the underside of the slating battens, which has resulted in large areas of the ceiling deteriorating over time and falling away. The church was urgently in need of repair, and thanks to the enthusiasm and perseverance of the Parochial Church Council and The National Lottery Heritage Fund grant the first stage has now been completed.

Reroofing of the Vestry was a priority as exposed to the westerly coastal weather.  

Poorly detailed lead sheeting had allowed prolonged water penetration into the roof structure and boarding below which has been repaired and replaced. The previously uninsulated ceiling void has been lined with a vapour control layer and thermal insulation to reduce heat loss and improve thermal comfort.

Efforts have been made to reduce ongoing maintenance requirements and necessary access onto the roof has been improved by opening up a previously sealed roof hatch with a new hatch modified to include hydraulic gas struts for ease of operation.

Jamie Brown Roofing & leadwork have done a great job on the Vestry and plan to start the main re-roofing works towards the end of the summer.  If you’d like to help towards St Margaret’s Church re-roofing contact us for info on their sponsor a slate scheme.

There are many ways to fund Church repairs, which are essential to protect our local heritage. Check out more of our church projects  here.

If you wish to discuss funding options/grants for your local Church please get in touch with one of our conservation architects through the contact page.

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