St Michael & All Angels Church, Pinhoe
Services provided: full architectural services
Completion: January 2013
Resolving problems with damp and moisture issues takes a clear understanding of the likely sources, looked at hand-in-hand with the original construction materials and their behaviour, as well as looking at the impact of subsequent building and maintenance cycles. Unpicking the existing fabric tells the story of blocking up of natural ventilation routes and sealing breathable materials with modern paints, leading to moisture retention and decay.
Working with the core materials of cob, sandstone and lime leads towards solutions that strip away modern, impervious materials to allow damp fabric to slowly dry. Original construction did not include damp proof courses so the natural seasonal and daily cycle of moisture wicking and drying has to be accounted for in repair works.
Alongside this, the concerns of English Heritage and the Diocesan Advisory Committee, (acting as Planning Authority for the Grade II* Listed church and the Listed Church Room), need to be addressed and taken into account. Layers of history were gradually unpicked as they became apparent – the unexpected find of three fireplaces built sequentially inside each other led to much conversation about how far to strip back the fabric, not knowing what was to be found behind the Victorian brick wall; in fact, a 16th Century fireplace, thought to be part of a scullery or kitchen to the original vicarage, was unearthed and is now exposed making a wonderful and characterful feature in the community room.
Works were completed by Corbel Conservation.