Lyme Regis Church re-rendering


Listing: Grade 1
Project cost: £150,000
Dates of commission: January 2016-date
Role in project: Partner in charge/project architect
Contractor: Ellis & Co. Ltd

Since my appointment as Church Architect in 2006 I had been advising the PCC to remove the cementitious pebble-dashed render on the Tower and Porch, the latter being the main part of the original Norman Nave, and replace it with lime plaster. By 2016 cracking in the render was causing considerable damp penetration and damage to internal plaster and timbers.
I submitted a report to the PCC and was then instructed to prepare a detailed specification for the repairs and obtain competitive tenders.

Ellis & Co. Ltd contracted to undertake the repairs and work commenced in September 2019.When the render was removed it was discovered that the south and west elevations
had been painted with bitumen and then covered with steel mesh which had rusted.
The removal of the bitumen proved a challenge for the contractor particularly as the masonry is mainly a local soft lias. Various methods were trialled but most was removed by hand with hammer and chisel.
Each elevation was core drilled in 12 locations and it was established that there were no voids in the core.
The masonry was in poor condition in several areas and tile repairs and deep pack pointing were necessary. Some rebuilding of masonry to the stair turret parapet was also needed.
The clock face was redecorated and re-gilded and it was found necessary to replace the lead flashing at its junction with the render.
Other work included in the contract was the replacement of uPVC rainwater goods with new cast iron and replastering of the ringing chamber south and west walls. When defective plaster was removed the masonry needed deep pack pointing and it was decided to leave the walls unplastered and limewash them when sufficiently dry.

The scaffolding has been removed and the lime render is drying out