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21 Sep


All Saints Church, Mackworth

September 21, 2017 | By |

In the summer of 2016 Hirst Conservation carried out a condition survey to the chancel of the 14th and 15th century All Saints Church, Mackworth, Derbyshire for Smith and Roper Architects, and made recommendations for treatment to both the interior and exterior of the church. Conservation works were undertaken in May 2017.

One of the areas to be surveyed was the red-veined alabaster reredos. The survey found some of the iron cramps fixing the elaborate structure had corroded and caused movement to some of the blocks. These needed to be carefully dismantled to remove the corroded material and replaced with appropriate stainless steel fixings before refixing the blocks. Extensive dust and debris were found to the reredos which was removed with dry cleaning before carefully cleaning with appropriate solutions.

The reredos also contained additional decorative stones which had become loose and needed cleaning and refixing; and missing elements and losses were filled with pigmented resin shaped to fit the areas of loss. The last phase of work to the reredos was repointing joints and colour matching to reintegrate the new mortar with the existing.

The bases of both of the large alabaster candlesticks either side of the reredos had cracked due to corrosion of the iron cramps. The corroded cramps were removed and replaced with stainless steel pins, with additional pinning added between the plinth and the base to prevent further movement. Once fixed together, cleaning trials to reduce the staining of the iron fixings was undertaken before repointing joints.

The exterior east wall of the chancel had areas of failing mortar which required raking out and repointing. This was mapped to show the extent of the missing or deteriorated mortar and can be seen below. Mortar trials were carried out to match composition and colour to the various mortar mixes. Repair works also included works to coping stones and one of the pinnacles.

The restored reredos will be dedicated by the Bishop of Derby, Rt Rev Dr Alastair Redfern at 6:30pm on Saturday 30th September. All are welcome.

Detail of section of reredos during cleaning












Detail of iron staining to base of alabaster candlestick













One of the alabaster candlesticks after treatment


Carved alabaster surround to vestry door after cleaning and replacement of one of the wings to one angel















Chancel wall showing mapping of works