Worth our salt

JCA Team:
Rory Duncan
Project type:

Quinquennial inspections, Conservation and Repairs

Project year: 2009

As church architects, Johnston Cave Associates not only plan, carry out and supervise any necessary work, but also undertake quinquennial inspections. We can also advise parish councils about the care and repair of their church and churchyard.

We take care of a number of churches and have been fortunate enough to have been looking after the 12th century St Giles Standlake church since 2009. Most recently we have designed and supervised the installation of the new discrete lighting and heating system.

As you would expect of a church of this age, it has seen extensive alterations over the centuries and any architectural practice worth its salt needs to understand the building’s history before undertaking any work.

Like most English churches, St Giles is built of coursed limestone rubble with stone dressings. The shallow pitched roofs to the Nave, Aisles, Transepts and Porch are in a terne coated standing seam metal while the Chancel pitched roof is clad with tiles.

The early 13th century saw the Chancel remodelled and Transepts added. Further major remodelling and additions took place during the 14th century with the additions of the Aisles and Nave arcading along with the the erection of the octagonal west Tower, South Porch and the early decorated windows of the North Aisle, North Transept and Chancel north wall.

The late 15th and early 16th century saw the Nave Clerestory added and the roof pitch lowered while the Chancel underwent further remodelling.

Unfortunately, the late 17th and 18th centuries saw the church and village decline and it fell into disrepair. However in the years 1880-91 the church underwent a major restoration under the rectorship of Reverend Lewis Tuckwell and his architect Clapton Crabb Rolfe.

Rolfe extensive rebuilt and repaired the Nave and Chancel and also rebuilt the South Porch and removed  much plasterwork. He also designed and re-roofed the roofs with elaborately carved angels, reusing the original corbels and most of the woodwork in the church. He placed new stained glass in the Chancel, but took care to save the remnants of mediaeval stained glass into the west window of the Bapistry.

Today it’s about understanding that past and looking to the future on how best to preserve, conserve, repair and appropriately enhance this ancient building.