St. George’s church, Woolwich, opposite the Royal Artillery barracks, was built in 1863 in an early Christian-Italian Romanesque style with elaborate internal decoration including mosaics and cladding in a variety of decorative stones. A Venetian glass mosaic of St George and the dragon was installed by Antonio Salviati around 1870, but variations in tesserae shape and placement between this and other mosaics on the site suggest that decorative work may have been completed in phases. The church was gutted during the Second World War when hit by a bomb, and has been preserved since as a ruin and as a memorial. Its condition has been deteriorating for many years and a major project is currently underway, led by the Heritage of London Trust Operations to provide a new Glulam roof structure, consolidate the wall heads, improve the presentation, and to carry out phase 1 of the conservation and partial restoration of the interiors. With much of the surviving mosaic decoration already removed in panels by others, in late 2014 Skillingtons won by competitive tender the contract for the conservation and reinstatement of the removed panels, and the in situ repair of the mosaics in the apse. This is […]
Skillingtons win important contract for the National Trust Skillingtons have won by competitive tender the contract for the refurbishment of three towers at Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire, working directly for the National Trust. Starting work just before Easter, we are working in close liaison with our friend and master plasterer Jeff Orton, with our own master plasterer Philip Gaches heading the team on site. We are carrying out extensive repairs to the 16th century plasterwork including running in missing sections of cornice and modelling to missing fragments of decorative plaster overmantles. We are also carrying out extensive patching to the historic gypsum plaster floors, and decorating the three rooms on completion.
The Lion Terrace at Harlaxton Manor Skillingtons have had a long working relationship with Harlaxton Manor near Grantham – which is part of the US University of Evansville. A major programme of repairs to the Lion Terrace and Culpin Bank to the rear of the main building had been commenced by another contractor in 2009. When they went into administration at Easter 2010 the completion of the project, which is grant-aided by English Heritage, went out to tender again and this time we were successful in winning the contract. It is never easy picking up from where somebody else left off and nobody takes any pleasure in witnessing another firm getting into difficulties so this has been a difficult job to get to grips with. However, now that we have been on site for several weeks the jigsaw is unravelling and areas of the site have started to be handed over to the client. It is expected that the contract will be complete in late 2010 or early 2011, depending on stone supply and the weather.
St John’s Church Hackney & Others Skillingtons are currently due to commence an autumn and winter programme of monument conservation at All Saint’s, Alrewas; St Michael’s, Broome; St Andrew’s Langford; St Margaret’s, Sotterley and St John’s, Hackney. We first looked at the Urswyck Chapel at St John’s; Hackney in 2003 and subsequently presented a report for the Parish with our recommendation for their conservation. St John’s suffered from a significant fire in 1955 and at this time the monuments were restored. Sadly the techniques involved in the restoration of the monuments and the Urswyck Chapel itself have had adverse affects upon them especially that of the floor mounted monument to Christopher Urswyck d.1522 which was entirely repainted in oil paint. Part of the conservation of this monument will be the careful removal of this paint layer to reveal the stone and any original polychrome.