Hampton Court’s Terracotta Roundels

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Sculptor Giovanni Da Maiano invoiced Cardinal Wolsey in 1521, requesting payment for eight painted and guilded terracotta roundels  (‘octo rotundas imagines, ex terra depictas et deauratas’) to embellish his newly refurbished Hampton Court Palace. These 500 year old terracotta roundels are significant; not just for their age and remarkable condition, quality and sculptural detail, but also as … Continue reading

Pressing the Natural History Museum Beasts

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I passed the Natural History Museum recently and, once again, was struck by its confident decorative grandeur. Whilst aware of the massive size of the animal characters that sit every few metres along the roofline; some peering down at us, some gazing dismissively off to the distance;  I also enjoy the scale of the building, allowing … Continue reading

Buffalo’s majestic grain elevators

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Buffalo grew to become a large, affluent city due to its location as a gateway between the east and the west. The first elevators were invented in Buffalo by a merchant named Joseph Dart, to move and store grain. The steam powered elevator was put into use in 1843. At their height there were 50 … Continue reading

Nash’s wonders

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In researching the conservation of the iron structure that supports the Brighton Royal Pavilion I have found a new appreciation and enjoyment of this unique building. Nash’s innovation in design have given us a playful and spectacular building that is also technically flawed. The hidden cast iron structure leaked from almost as soon as it … Continue reading

Stone focus: Journey to the top of Paris

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I enjoyed spending two days exploring Paris recently and was of course stunned by the grandeur of the architecture. In contrast to London nearly all of the buildings are impressive and historic, making London seem vibrant and perhaps confusing in comparison. I found myself stuyding the stone particularly as it is, in its glory, everywhere! We went … Continue reading

New ideas for an old Church

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I’m considering options for Church of All Souls Hastings. This grand Grade II* listed building towers spectacularly amidst neighbouring terraces and has been closed for 5 years. Built by prolific designer AW Blomfield in 1890 it is a fine example of high Victorian architecture with most original features intact. It is impressive from the outside and even … Continue reading

Day 3: Lifton, St. Mary’s – Quinquennial Inspection

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Pevsner uncompromisingly states this church is in a ‘small and otherwise unremarkable village’. Uncertain of what we might find on arrival, Paul and I travelled across Devon to the Cornish border, in the Mini stocked with the regular thermos of coffee and toast to arrive at 10am. Straight up onto the roofs. The roofers were on site … Continue reading

Church 2 Day 1: Stoke Fleming, St Peter’s Church

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St Peter’s, Stoke Fleming is immediately richer and grander with a much larger congregation along with some important features in the building. The marble Reredos is due to undergo conservation works. You can see below where it is jacking. The conservator recommends works to the order of £1000. The Warden let it be known she would prefer … Continue reading

Church 1 Day 1: Strete, St Michaels and All Angels

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Paul and I arrived to the pretty yet chilly church of St Michaels and All Angels. We met with members of the church congregation, a representative from the DAC (Diocese Advisory Committee) John Scott and Nils White the Conservation Officer in attendance fro South Hams. We discussed: 1- How are where best to locate a ramp for access to … Continue reading

Day 4 – 1 St Petrox

St Petrox is a stunning building perched on the cliff of the mouth of the Dart. Originally a castle the defensive structure was added to as the town grew to become a church. A structure on the opposite side of the river is visible where a wire was stretched across to prevent invasions. Stone Co … Continue reading