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Ecclesistical & Heritage World No.87

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Traditional Lime

Lime: it’s better for buildings – and for the environment

It is now fairly well known that cement is not good for old buildings and that lime mortar should be used. But why? What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages? In order to begin to answer those questions it is necessary to understand the nature of traditional building, the process by which buildings used to be built, and how it differs from modern construction, the process by which we build today.

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CRE Events

CRE South West at Westpoint, Exeter now rescheduled for February 23-24 2022

With a ban on large public gatherings in place for the foreseeable future, Christian Resources Exhibition have postponed CRE South West until early next year - the new dates are February 23-24 2022.

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Audio Visual

Audio visual equipment in church buildings

This guidance is issued by the Church Buildings Council under section 55(1)(d) of the Dioceses, Mission and Pastoral Measure 2007. As it is statutory guidance, it must be considered with great care. The standards of good practice set out in the guidance should not be departed from unless the departure is justified by reasons that are spelled out clearly, logically and convincingly.

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Stained Glass

A brief history of stained glass

The origins of the first stained glass windows are lost in history. The technique probably came from jewelry making, cloisonné and mosaics. Stained glass windows as we know them, seemed to arise when substantial church building began.

By the 10th century, depictions of Christ and biblical scenes were found in French and German churches and decorative designs found in England.

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Traditional Windows

Why is repair better than replacement?

Traditional windows can often be simply and economically repaired, usually at a cost significantly less than replacement. For timber windows this is largely due to the high quality and durability of the timber that was used in the past (generally pre-1919) to make windows. Properly maintained, old timber windows can enjoy extremely long lives.

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Back Issues

Ecclesiastical & Heritage World Back Issues

Core Conservation

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Ecclesiastical & Heritage World Fullers Finer Furniture

Traditional Windows

Traditional windows - their care, repair and upgrading

The loss of traditional windows from our older buildings poses one of the major threats to our heritage. Traditional windows and their glazing make an important contribution to the significance of historic areas.

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Lightning Protection

When lightning strikes are you protected against this act of God?

The issue of lightning protection in churches is one that has exercised this publication for many years. In this four-part series of spotlights on the issue we will be revisiting various aspects of the subject, beginning with an overview of current thinking.

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Heritage Roofing

Heritage roofing - maintaining our iconic buildings

The UK is home to some of the most iconic buildings in the world, from stunning churches and cathedrals to historic stately homes. Each and every one of these remarkable feats of architecture requires regular maintenance to ensure they remain in the very best condition, allowing them to be enjoyed for generations.

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Church Lighting

Light up your place of worship

The design of a lighting scheme and the light fittings themselves can have a positive impact on the way your building looks as well as being functional.

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UK Roofing Awards

UK Roofing Awards 2020 finalists announced

The finalists for this year's The UK Roofing Awards 2020 have been announced. The NFRC will be reopening nominations later in the year for projects completed during 2020 and additional shortlisted projects will be added to create the full list of finalists for the combined 2020/21 awards event.

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Live Streaming

Why live stream is now mainstream

The restrictions around the COVID-19 pandemic have led to many churches venturing into the online world in a much more comprehensive way than before. While most churches have had some kind of online presence and the Church of England has it’s a Church Near You site, the live streaming of services has become much more common. And modern AV equipment is perfectly suited to communicating via the internet.

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Lead Contractors

Members offer 25 years peace of mind

The trade body that represents the leadworking industry – and guarantees quality in that industry – is the Lead Contractors’ Association (LCA). The LCA was formed in 1984 to promote quality standards in leadwork and now comprises over 70 specialist contractors committed, supported by 15 associate members who supply materials and ancillary services.

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Decorative Leadwork

Saving the artistry of early craftsmen

Beaten, twisted, cut or cast, ornate designs bear out the skill and artistry of early craftsmen. And surviving examples are under threat.

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Lead Roofing

The benefits of lead roofing

Lead is one of the oldest materials in the roofing industry and is still commonly used throughout the world today.

Lead roofing is a traditional roofing method which has been used in the industry for hundreds of years, and is therefore proven to be extremely reliable. Lead roofing, and sand-cast lead, in particular is ideal for old buildings such as churches or historical renovations, whereas milled lead roofing is a mass-produced alternative, used for precision and accuracy in homes and commercial buildings alike.

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Ancient Highland seat prepares for new occupants

A three-year restoration programme is reaching its conclusion at the historic Mingary Castle on the west coast of Scotland.

Mingary Castle stands by the sea a mile or so to the east of the village of Kilchoan on the Ardnamurchan peninsula – the most westerly village on Great Britain. It is a castle with a long and rich history, the seat of the Clan MacIain, a sept of Clan MacDonald and once one of the most powerful clans along the western coast of Scotland.

The castle’s curtain walls are up to 14m high and form a hexagon. The longest and thickest is to the north, facing onto a neck of land which is cut by a defensive ditch 7.5m wide and 3m deep. There is a sea gate in the south wall, and a rock-cut stairway leads from the beach at the west to a land gate in the NW wall.

Although the outer structure dates from the 13th century, the interior is Georgian in origin, although since its last occupation in the 19th century the castle had fallen into disrepair. That is until the owner of the Ardnamurchan Estate and Mingary itself, Donald Houston, set up the Mingary Castle Preservation & Restoration Trust and set about restoring it.

Work has progressed steadily until, by the beginning of February, the main effort of bringing the castle back into occupation had been completed and the interiors ready for the finishing touches.

Visitors to the site will have noticed that a flag is flying at the masthead on the north battlement. It's the Yorkshire flag, and it deserves to be there because it has largely been Yorkshiremen like builders Mark Thompson (left) and John Paul Ashley of Leeds based contractors Ashley Thompson Ltd (www.ashleythompson.co) who have worked on the project.

With over 30 years experience and knowledge, the construction and refurbishment specialists undertake work across the entirety of the UK and are proud to offer professional services for any project - large or small. One of their finest projects involved work on the Peel Tower in Skipton, which was featured on Channel 4′s Grand Designs. 

They have survived for two and a half years in very difficult circumstances to make the Trust's dream of a refurbished Mingary Castle become reality.

Also representing Yorkshire on the project and pictured (left to right) were Dom of Mark Galley Decorators (www.markgalleydecorator.co.uk), Rob and Tigger of R&B Electrical & Renewables and Paul of Proficient Plumbing of Whitby.

Another company with a big part to play in the project - but from the other side of the hill - are TSB Ironcraft (www.tsbironcraft.co.uk). Based in Rishton, near Blackburn in Lancashire, they are a small family business who have been involved with the manufacture and installation of wrought iron products for over 12 years.

Proprietor Tim Birbeck has been raising the levels of the iron railings and bannisters which were a few inches too low. Pictured (below left) is the top of the stairway from the courtyard up to the battlements. TSB has also installed safety bars across those points along the battlements where people could, in their eagerness to enjoy the views, fall out. The company also fitted the iron gates pictured right.

Pictured below is of one of the castle's lancet windows, taken in September 2013, giving some idea of their condition before renovation work started. These beautiful little windows, were returned to their former glory by yet more craftsmen from the White Rose county, namely Design Glass (www.designglass.co.uk) and its sister company Touchstone Glazing Solutions (www.touchstoneglazing.co.ukfrom Brighouse.

They had already visited the site previously to measure up and prepare individual templates for each of the nine small windows which they were going to hand craft for the building, starting with the chapel's lancet window.

This window has a lower, opening section and an upper, fixed section. The lower section has a steel frame and a unique catch, the handle having had to be curled in upon itself because the unit is so small.

Dave Morris, managing director of Design Glass and Touchstone, is pictured (left) with his team Alex Bottomley (centre) and Andy Mitchell. They not only fitted the units but were also involved in their manufacture.

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The plan is for the castle to welcome visitors as a holiday let from the spring of this year. Visitors will be able to enjoy the stunning views, historic environment and the sumptuously-restored interior, albeit with modern facilities.

To find out more about the restoration effort, visit www.mingarycastletrust.co.uk/mingarycastletrust/blog, or to find out more about the castle, including how to book your stay, visit www.mingarycastle.com.

The full story of the castle’s restoration will be featured in the next issue of the Ecclesiastical and Heritage World magazine.

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