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Renovation of the Chapel and dining hall roof

21 May 2020

The Chapel and dining hall roofing project continues to progress well, despite the huge constraints that the contractors are facing on a daily basis in ensuring compliance with government advice and that of the NHS and the Health & Safety Executive for working safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The work is now expected to be completed on 3 September, which shows a two week overrun at this stage. We are, however, constantly endeavouring to improve on this date and have already managed to claw back some lost time.

Images above: East elevation sloping leadwork complete (left); and the West elevation, prepared prior to lead replacement.

The replacement of all leadwork and detailing is now 85% complete, and both roof spaces are being fully insulated with ventilation louvers fitted at the perimeter. A trace heating and leak detection system beneath the leadwork will help us to avoid damage from any future heavy snow fall.

Although the project was initially undertaken to replace the lead sheeting, many other aspects of building maintenance have also been addressed whilst we have had access from the large scaffolding that has encompassed the building. Extensive stonework repairs have been undertaken on all facades and are almost complete. The Clock Tower has had its copper covering and stone finials restored, and essential clock repairs are in progress.

Images above: Some of the stone finials around the tower are loose and have split and are undergoing a sympathetic repair, while one has had to be totally renewed.

A new fire detection system has been installed in both the Chapel and Hall, as well as a new lightning protection system. Work started this week on cleaning and repairing the leaded light windows and stained glass. We are also taking the opportunity to install a safe working-at-height anchorage system, designed to protect those undertaking future maintenance tasks.

Thanks to David Goddard for providing us with this update.

Image below: Before and after view of timber boards beneath the lead in the roof. Approximately 30% of these boards have been replaced.