Fringe Box



Church’s Restoration Is Runner-up In National Stone Awards

Published on: 7 Dec, 2012
Updated on: 7 Dec, 2012

Visitors to St Nicholas’ Church in Peper Harow are not the only ones to open the door and experience a ‘WOW’ moment.

The restored interior of St Nicholas Church, Peper Harow. Picture by Floriane

The transformation from burnt-out shell following a devastating fire on Christmas Eve 2007 to a building that is light, exquisitely decorated and full of beautifully detailed stone carving has also wowed the judges of this year’s national Natural Stone Awards.

On Friday November 30, at a ceremony in Lords Cricket Ground, Marc Wiese, from architects Purcell Miller Tritton, and Brigadier David Swinburn, treasurer of St Nicholas, were presented with a Highly Commended Certificate as runner up in the conservation category.

Brig David Swinburn and Marc Wiese with the Highly Commended Certificate for the Conservation Category of the Natural Stone Awards.

“We are thrilled that the skills and expertise that went into this massive restoration project has been recognised by the Stone Federation of Great Britain,” said David. “The interior of the church is so welcoming. The reconstruction was designed to make it multi use and it is now a perfect venue for quiet or away days. The architects and craftsmen did a brilliant job retaining its history and also bringing in modern features such as solar panels.”

Marc Wiese explained that three arches in the arcade between the nave and north aisle which were designed by Pugin had been severely damaged in the fire, requiring 95% reconstruction in new stone by stonemason Kevin Harding from Universal Stone.

Also, one of two marble columns from Lord Midleton of Peper Harow’s estates in Ireland was destroyed and had to be rebuilt using Italian marble around a steel core. Pugin’s fine ceiling decorations were conserved in the chancel but in the chapel they had to be restored to their original colours and a fine new painted ceiling was installed in the nave.

Fittleworth stone battlements on the tower needed reconstruction and a new floor of Purbeck limestone slabs has been laid with underfloor heating. The 11th-century grade II-listed church is now fully restored and fit for the 21st century.

St Nicholas Church, Peper Harow, is south of Guildford, off the A3 near Milford. Click here to see website.

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