Description 3

St Michael’s in the Hamlet

Client: David Parry

Location: Toxteth Park, Liverpool

Budget: Last Phase £250,000

Status: Last Phase Completed 2012

Following two phases of repair works to the almost flat ‘patent’ slate roof to the Grade I-Listed church, a major phase of repairs to the top of the Tower was organised by FPL in 2011.

Substantial grant aid was forthcoming from English Heritage for this extremely complex project involving the complete dismantling of the upper level of the Tower, including a modern era metal roof, original cast iron decorative Pinnacles, Parapet ‘arcade’ framework and decorative courses.  The design of these elements was entirely non-traditional and fraught with difficulty with the original construction employing a complex mix of cast iron, slate panels, stone copings and a lime-based concrete / soft brick matrix infill.  The original slate roof had been stripped years ago and was replaced with stainless steel flat roof.

The exact form of construction was impossible to discern from inspection and required a meticulous and painstaking disassembly; the stripping of multitudes of layers of paint and earlier attempts at water-proofing before an assessment of significance and proposals for reconstruction could take place.  We worked very closely with English Heritage and specialists in iron restoration, stainless steel fabrication and masonry, devised a replacement structure which preserved the original principles of the Architect and iron-founder to create a finely executed project.

The iron frame work to the parapets and decorative framing and cappings to the Pinnacles are supported on a massive ‘upside-down stainless steel table’ which allow these elements to rise elegantly skyward as originally intended.  The Tower was topped by a new but traditional pyramidal lead roof with effective maintenance and access.

FPL are now engaged upon planning the next phase of specialist repairs to the iron work and Tower masonry, and have developed a Vision Plan for the re-ordering of St Michael’s of which the first phase has been completed.

FPL is also commissioned to prepare a conservation plan intended to support the ‘Vision Plan’.

  • Categories: Churches, Listed Buildings and Conservation

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