Gothic Porch Restoration

St Mary Magdelene Enfield 07St Mary Magdelene’s Enfield is a beautiful high Gothic Victorian church in Enfield Chase, North London. However, the ravages of weather over the last 150 years had taken their toll. The porch in particular was in need of restoration with its Bath Stone features decayed, flaking and its Kentish ragstones disintegrating (below).

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Will Horn and I set about making a list of the most pressing replacements to be undertaken, one of which was the hood moulding – the arched outer canopy around the Gothic doorway. We had to work out the radius of the arch, the dimension of the individual stones and make a moulding of the section, so we could replicate it all.

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Here the individual stones with their architectural names are pointed out. The set-backs where the water runs off, capping stones, quoins (corner stones), copings to protect the walls and gables, and also the base of the cross, the iron pin of which had rusted and burst the stone. We also repointed with lime mortar where the older pointing had fallen out, thus sealing the building.

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A close up of the restored cross.

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And here is the before and after.

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Geraint Davies was commissioned to design and carve a roundel to fill a vacant place above the main entrance porch to Saint James’s Church, Spanish Place. As a listed building of some merit and  one of particular interest in the Catholic history of London this was a sensitive task which Geraint executed with great patience and skill. I was impressed by the amount of time and care taken in preparing both the plans and the material for what has turned out to be a splendid addition to the visual impact of the church. Now that it is lit at night the roundel of the glorified Christ attracts much interest and is becoming a noteworthy (and sympathetic) part of the Marylebone architectural scene.
Father Christopher ColvenMarylebone, London