St. Mary's Berkeley
ST. MARYĺS BERKELEY, Gloucestershire,
remarkable mediŠval church has extensive wall decorations.
However their condition has been a cause for concern for
some time since they are extremely dirty and are being
damaged by damp penetration both from the wall-top gutters
and through the walls themselves. To add to this, the
structure of the clerestory was identified as potentially
unstable due to lack of restraint at wall head level.
An extensive programme of conservation and
repair, being grant aided by English Heritage and the
Heritage Lottery Fund, is now underway.
The work follows the good conservation principles of minimum
intervention in existing fabric but where new structure is
required this is honestly expressed.
far repairs have been completed to the nave including the
strengthening of the clerestory walls using stainless steel
tie wires and eaves beams to transfer lateral loading on to
the wall. A new lead roof with insulation, including a
distinctive new lead crest based on elements of the internal
decoration which disguises the ridge ventilation and
enlivens the skyline. The north and south aisle roofs have
been repaired and releaded and wall head gutters relined.
The repairs to the nave and aisles roofs
have eliminated much of the water penetration from the wall
head, however water penetration through the wall was still a
problem. The local stone is very porous and it is clear from
the detailing that this has previously been rendered, some
of which was still remaining on the south clerestory. Both
clerestory walls and part of the west wall have now been
re-rendered in a self -finished mix based on local
With the walls now drying out, the final phase will follow
to conserve the internationally important wall paintings.