January 22, 2021
Suffolk is famous for having a great wealth of historic churches. Unfortunately due to their ancient nature, many suffer from similar problems. Shallow foundations, mixed building materials and well-intentioned (but problematic) historic repairs to name but a few.
Here at Whitworth, we have extensive experience with historic churches, in both the architectural and surveying sides of the practice. We were recently engaged to be a part of the team responsible for managing the urgent repairs needed to St Edmund’s, Hargrave Church in Suffolk.
Large cracks in the had started to be noticed in one of the walls of the historic church in 2014, which unfortunately was only a few years after extensive repairs had been completed on the Church roof. A number of factors, including a couple of dry summers, exacerbated the problem.
At their worst, the cracks expanded to around three inches wide. This put a serious strain on the building as a whole and was grave enough to place Hargrave Church on the Heritage England ‘At Risk’ register. If the damage had been allowed to get worse repairs might have become unfeasible.
Significant repairs have now been completed. This is an extremely positive development for the village of Hargrave. The work was made possible by the incredible fundraising of the villagers and support from many other agencies, including Suffolk Historic Churches Trust, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Wolfson Foundation.
During the repair phase a window was resized and reparations made on some Georgian Prayer Boards. The opportunity was also taken to decorate the Chancel.