The Abbey Church of St Mary & St Melor, Amesbury Conservation Repair of 15th Century Nave Roof
The Nave roof, with its distinctive 15th Century oak trusses and carved details was at risk of structural collapse by October 2019. As Inspecting Architect, St Ann’s Gate led a comprehensive repair project, including complex carpentry repairs, traditional sand cast lead, conservation and replacement of lath and plaster ceilings, new oak carvings and masonry repairs.
Location Amesbury, Wiltshire
Completed November 2020
Project Type Conservation & Repair
Category Grade I Listed Church
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Project Summary

The conservation principles applied to this project included preserving as much historic fabric as possible and following the principles applied by Detmar Blow, a significant architect of the Arts and Crafts movement who was the last to have repaired this roof. The project included conservation and repairs across a wide range of specialisms and whilst most remains hidden from view; there are new oak carvings throughout the interior that commemorate these works and add another layer to this building’s historic narrative. Each new carving was carefully designed by the architect to depict stories of the church, the wider community and in the case of the NHS rainbow; the challenges of this project.

Start a Project

As part of the restoration, Emma designed some additional paterae [carved oak bosses] that decorate the interior of the wall plate.  These replaced missing bosses, and were inspirational – including a rainbow and NHS logo, to commemorate the Covid-19 season; and a bee, to recall the swarm of bees that were disturbed during the roof works.  These and others will be a contemporary contribution to the history of the roof in this ancient parish church. 

Ven. Alan Jeans
Archdeacon of Sarum
Next up

The Church of the Sacred Heart, Battersea