Thompson, Church of St Martin, Norfolk - Heritage Lottery Funded Project

The Nave roof structure is a rare example of a scissor brace and collar roof from the first half of the 14th century, consisting of 40 pairs of undifferentiated rafter frames. Structural movement was identified during the Quinquennial Inspection (5 yearly condition survey) by failures in two of the rafter frames. Further surveys revealed the severe deterioration of the historic timbers and the roof to be in risk of imminent collapse. Emergency propping was installed until a full scheme of repairs could be implemented.

Poorly executed and ineffective modern repairs were removed. Sensitive, like-for-like repairs were undertaken the historic structure, and additional strengthening installed from above to conserve the character and form of the roof as seen from below. For safety reasons the repairs were subject to specific sequencing and the roof was addressed in three phases; each section had to be stabilised before the battens and felt could be stripped from the next as these were providing the only lateral stability. On completion of the structural timber repairs, the pantile roof covering was re-fixed on new battens and felt, with appropriate weathering details at each abutment.

The full extent of decay could only be seen once the roof had been stripped. Therefore a strict approach, based on priority of repair, had to be adopted. Utmost priority was given to high level repairs to ensure structural integrity was achieved within the restricted budget. Improvements to the underground drainage will subsequently form a future phase of works.

The works were funded by a Heritage Lottery Fund Grant for Places of Worship and additional Partnership Funding gifted by many generous donors.


Nave Roof Repairs

Project Architect: Gethin Harvey

Project Team: Client, Architect, Principal Designer, Principal Contractor, Quantity Surveyor, Structural Engineer, Wildlife Consultant

Grade 1 Listed Building

Completion Date: August 2018

Services Provided:

We provided a full service from inception to completion, including measured and conditions surveys; coordination of specialist consultants, development of concept repair schemes and detailed design packages; production of full tender packages (work schedules, technical drawings and specifications); undertook a competitive tender procedure in line with public procurement legislation, and analysed tender returns to ensure the selection of an appropriate and cost effective Principal Contractor.

Whilst the works were on site we undertook contract administration and coordination of the wider project team; regular inspection and supervision of the works and monthly meetings to report on progress to the Client.

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