Client: The Vicar, Churchwardens and PCC of St. Nicholas’ Church.
Completed: 2022
Category: Places of Worship
Contract Duration: 25 Weeks
Architect: Carden & Godfrey
What we did...
  • Restoration & Conservation
  • Stone Cleaning
  • Stonework & Masonry Repairs
  • Repointing & Weathering
  • Repairs to Metalwork

Universal Stone are pleased to have worked with leading RIBA architects Carden and Godfrey at St Nicholas Church in Chiswick, recently completing essential external masonry repairs and conservation works to the North Elevation.

Christian worship is thought to have taken place on the site of St Nicholas since the 7th Century. The tower, the oldest part of the church, dates from 1425 with the remainder of the church being rebuilt and completed in 1884. Its historical importance makes it a Grade II* listed building. Urgent stonework repairs and improvements were needed to make the church safe.


External restoration and repairs included;

  • Scaffolding and protection
  • Masonry repairs to Chancel and Vestries including, DOFF stone cleaning and dry brushing.
  • Replacement stones to Northeast Corner and Buttresses including repointing to plinth and string course.
  • Chancel North wall received lime mortar weathering repairs to masonry, replacement of ashlar facing stones on north parapet, repointing and repair to lead guttery.
  • Sacristy received repointing to ashlar with mortar repairs and Code 6 lead capping to coping.
  • Extensive mortar repairs to all buttresses.
  • Reinforcement mortar repairs to gable niche & tracery including St. Nicholas statue.
  • Repairs to various windows including hood mouldings and stones.
  • Metalwork repairs and replacement to north porch gates and window ferramenta.
  • Overhaul and replacement of rainwater goods and drainage.
  • Extensive restoration work to Ragstone gable including repointing, repairs to columns, and voussoir stones.
  • Masonry repairs to south and north porch with 75% of parapet replacement, coping stones and string course.  This also included rebuilding and replacing of buttresses and rubble walling.

The programme presented itself with several challenges that required specialist heritage stone expertise.  The build had a unique pink-terracotta coloured lime mortar as a result of crushed bricks from the original structure (which were re-claimed to rebuild in 1882 –84 under John Loughborough Pearson).  USL carried out mortar analysis to obtain component percentages and to establish the best material results for mortar matching.

Furthermore, the stone detailing aspects of the project were complex and extensive. The external fabric comprising of string courses, parapets, mullions, and detailing had existing render repairs that changed each profile. The masonry team faced the challenges of firstly removing the surviving mortar facing and then carrying out extensive repairs and stone replacements. Due to these obstacles, each section and stone required its own individual template to be created prior to stone replacement to ensure exact fit.

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