St Petoc's Church at Harford on Dartmoor.

Scaffolding in place on the main tower.

A view from the ground up to work level.

The old granite ashlar stone work of the tower...

with work well under way at the top...

Where the stone and mortar show signs of weathering.

The old lead from the drain channel being removed...

The old lead roof covering stripped.

New render lies under the cloth protection...

with the cloth removed...

and new lead work in place.

All tower battlements are being renovated...

with the first layer of render ready...

around the inside of the tower...

to protect the stone work.

One of the four pinnacles...

with the opposite pinnacle covered in lichen.

One bell remains in the belfry...

Inside the church...

Are the two former bells.

 

Leaving the A38 and heading up through the narrow lanes from Ivybridge lies the small hamlet of Harford with its old church dating back to the late 15th century. As a listed building of considerable age it’s easy to see where the weather conditions of Dartmoor have taken their toll on the original granite stone blocks that make up the church and its grand west tower.  

  • 15 century church tower renovation
  • Striping off all weathered materials
  • Renewing render on the original stonework
  • New lead roofing and drainage channels

 

Pete Scoble: “South Hams Roofing have carried out roof repairs on many churches all across Devon over the years with a recent slate roof repair project in East Portlemouth, so this latest work on the church at Harford is just the latest in a long line”.

 

 

Once on top of the tower it’s easy to see the weathering and damage to the stone walls and roof along with the lead lined drainage channels and pipes. The work starts with the careful removal of the old and failing materials and once complete a new layer of render is applied to the stonework as a protective layer. The old lead is also carefully removed so as not to damage the surrounding structure and new lead gutters and drainage channels are gently moulded and fitted into place.

And the reason why South Hams Roofing is chosen again and again to work on listed buildings and heritage roof repairs?

Pete Scoble: “We have the two things that you need when it comes to heritage roofing; firstly, we have all the skills needed for the job in house – in this case that includes the stone work and masonry skills along with the knowledge needed for complex lead work, and having this means that we keep total control over the project with greater efficiencies. Secondly, it’s all about experience and care, where we are not just out to fix a problem in any way that we can, but where we work with history, with integrity and a considered approach.

The fact is that treating old, historic and often listed buildings with all the modern day techniques and materials may not always be the best approach. There is a need to understand the old construction techniques and materials used and to work in a way that dove-tails with these, so that the newly renovated roof not only blends in, but it also works with the original construction to keep the tower in good condition well into the future.

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