A recent survey of the condition of the church building identified a fairly extensive list of much-needed repairs, restorations and other improvements. The work has been categorised according to urgency and will be undertaken as a series of project phases over a three to five year timescale as and when available funding permits.
The main areas of work, which are to do with masonry and roofing repairs, together with some provisional cost estimates are shown below.
The total cost of all the work could be upwards of £200,000 but this will be confirmed through competitive tendering. The high-level roadmap shows the timeline for when the work could be done.
Cost estimate £15,000
The photograph shows significant damage in the form of shattered copings and fractured kneelers, as well as vegetation growth to the north side of the chancel east gable. All damaged stone will need to be carefully removed and replaced with new. From the scaffolding required for this work, masonry repairs, repointing and consolidation of the chancel east gable wall and buttresses as well as repairs to the arch of the east window will also be undertaken.
Cost Estimate £12,000
Stitching and replacement repairs are required to the deeply damaged stone quoins at the southeast corner. Also, low-level deep pointing above the ground channel in conjunction with pointing the channel/wall plinth joint is required. Structural movement around and below the south window that has previously been patched and pointed, is becoming loose and should be re-done including deep pointing and stitching across the fractures to keep the water out.
Trial cost estimate £3,500
Full cost estimate subject to the trial in the order of £140,000.
The tower requires some fairly major renovation work to replace deeply eroded stones on all four faces. The trial will extract a typical sample of those affected in order to ascertain their depth and the extent of concern over their repair/consolidation or replacement. The trial will produce a report to inform the scope and cost of the potential major project to repair the entire tower masonry. Early estimates indicate that the cost of the full repairs including the roof are likely to be in excess of £140,000. This figure will validated by the trial and then through more detailed scope specification and competitive tendering of the work in due course.
There are numerous other relatively minor works identified during the survey including renovation of the Preaching Cross, lytchgate, clockface, weathervane and so on.
Cost estimate £15,000
The rare part-original limestone preaching cross (cf. Dorchester Abbey)
requires expert lime mortar repair and deep pointing to consolidate its historic stepped base. The western lychgate needs excavation and piecing-in repair to the deeply decayed oak sole plate on the south side of the gate. The clock - a single dial on the west face - should be redecorated when the tower is scaffolded.