All Saints, Otley by Heather Sutton

In 1852, parishioners at the 800-year old All Saints’ Parish Church in Otley raised £150 for a stained glass window behind the altar. Since then the years had taken their toll and a full-scale restoration project was mounted to save it from further deterioration though this time the cost was considerably higher at more than £60,000.

Maysand was called in to manage the project and brought in window conservation and stained glass specialist Martin Johnson & Co from York.

Over 25 weeks, during which the team also carried out roof and masonry repairs to the grade I-listed church, Maysand craftsmen managed the restoration of the all-important stained glass, east window.

“It was a very delicate operation. Firstly we set up scaffolding either side of the window so that the specialists from Martin Johnson could remove the Stained glass panels,” explains Maysand’s Bryn Lisle.

“Then we used steel needles horizontally between the two scaffolds to support the tracery before removing the mullions, taking accurate profiles of them and commissioning new ones at Dunhouse Quarry where the template and carving process alone took 8-weeks.”

Once Maysand had removed the temporary protection and fitted the new mullions, Martin Johnson’s team were able to reinstate the restored glass panels. Eleanor Carr was the glass painter on the Otley project. She explains: “Back at the workshop we took rubbings of the panels, and photographed and measured everything before removing all the lead work. It was a particularly interesting piece because it was made by Pilkington Glass who had quite a small studio at the time so examples of its work are quite rare.

Although we do try to keep originals where possible we did have to replace some pieces which were badly damaged or had been poorly repaired over the years. Each new painted glass was signed and dated on the back because that helps to create a history of the window for future generations.”

The panels were releaded and replaced in the church within an isothermal glazing system to strengthen and protect the glass art. The results are visible for all to see.

Ashton Gardens by Heather Sutton

Ashton Gardens is a Grade II listed garden on English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. Situated in St Anne’s Town Centre, adjacent to St Anne’s Square the gardens cover 10 acres and comprise a number of historic buildings and display gardens.

The centre-piece of the project was the refurbished and re-sited Ashton Institute Building. It’s a colonial style pavilion, which during the refurbishment project was moved so it was situated between the lodge buildings on St George’s Road. This landmark building is to be used as a cafe

The East and West gate lodges were also restored and one turned into an information centre. These, coupled with the Ashton Institute and the reintroduction of metal railings as per the original park design, formed an impressive entrance to the park from St George’s Road, reminiscent of that of that which the parks original visitors would have seen. The war memorial in the heart of the park was also cleaned, repointed and lit. Extensive landscape work included improvements to the play area, drainage, paving, tree works and the replanting of each of the various display gardens.

Maysand worked with historic architects Donald Insall Associates to deliver the scheme which was funded via a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £1,436,000. Additional funding made the total project cost just under £2million.

Darren Bell, Head of Parks and Leisure Service, Fylde Borough Council says: “It was a real pleasure working with Maysand they were flexible, professional and accommodating. Throughout the project, every time we visited the site there were clear signs of real and significant progress. The firm tried to be as considerate as possible to everyone throughout the process.”

“Working with Maysand on the Ashton Gardens project was an excellent experience. The quality of the workmanship has been exceptional. I would have no hesitation in recommending them they are, without a doubt, one of the best companies I have personally worked with.”

Oak Farm by Heather Sutton

Overview

Oak Farm in Liverpool was shortlisted for the 2005 RIBA Manser Medal prize. A private development by architect and co-founder of Urban Splash, Jonathan Falkingham, it consists of two buildings in one: a restored Grade II listed 17th century farmhouse linked via a two-storey glass walkway to a large contemporary sandstone construction.

HistoryJonathan and an associate bought the Oak Farm site which had been highlighted in a ‘stop the rot’ campaign by the Liverpool Echo. As well as the award-winning farmhouse, 3 more houses were created from late 18th / early 19th century outbuildings and a fifth is new build.

Oak Farm is thought to have been a late medieval yeoman farmstead whose original open hall had long since disappeared but a service wing, added around 1660, was stillstanding. Built of local red sandstone, this was to be the keystone of the award-winning design.

The project

Urban Splash and architects shedkm appointed Maysand to produce a schedule of works, then as masonry contractor for the project. “We had anywhere between two and six craftsmen on site for almost a year,” says Maysand’s masonry surveyor, Mick Fowles.

“Some elevations had to be chemically paint stripped, and all were cleaned with a mild chemical solution (to an approved sample) prior to being dismantled. Then the farmhouse was literally taken down, stone by stone, each one recorded and stored on a pallet. The farmhouse was rebuilt exactly, except for an opening on one elevation for a full height glass corridor to link the historic and the new build parts of the house.

Maysand also built the external and internal stone façades of the extension around a block work backing structure. The timber structure was left in place during the dismantling and repaired and cleaned by Maysand timber experts, so that it now forms a visual feature in the upstairs rooms.

“Oak Farm was a fantastic project,” says Mick. “Not just because it won an award, but because it was really satisfying for us to use so many of our specialist trades in one project, saving an almost derelict historic building and transforming it into something beautiful again — something that the client, Maysand and all the craftsmen can be tremendously proud of.”

Sheffield Cathedral by Heather Sutton

Cathedral Church of St Marie, Sheffield

Client

Cathedral Church of St Marie, Sheffield/Diocese of Hallam

Main Contractor

Maysand

Architect

Buttress Fuller Alsop Williams

Overview

The historic Cathedral Church of St Marie in Sheffield is an iconic building in the Steel city. Constructed at a cost of £10,562 12s 2d and completed in 1850, the Catholic Cathedral is a grade II listed building. Damaged during the Second World War, its stained glass windows were removed and stored in the nearby Nunnery Colliery for safe keeping.
Ironically, flooding of the mine left the ornate windows covered in mud and drawings for the restoration of the windows was lost. But the glass was retrieved and re-fitted in 1947, and since then the Cathedral has undergone a number of further alterations and restoration projects. The latest featured major works to replace the stone floor with a new under-floor heating system and the installation of modern lighting and audio systems.

Restorative work was also carried out to a number of the church’s most striking internal features, while a number of precious effigies – including one of Cathedral founder Father Pratt – were carefully re-located. And the crowning glory was the erection of a new ‘Planar’ glass canopy, spanning the whole of the roof at the cathedral’s West End, giving the entrance to the Norfolk Chambers a striking focal point. Now finished, the Cathedral hopes to attract more worshippers and visitors and also become a music venue for the city.

The project

The £1.1million, 11-month-long project undertaken by restoration and conservation specialists Maysand restored the cathedral to its former glory and also equipped it better for 21st-century worship in a carefully crafted combination of old and new. The new stone floor was laid on a base of limecrete, a more environmentally friendly and breathable material than traditional cement-based concrete.

Delivering the particular angles of the glass canopy to the architect’s brief also presented a unique challenge for the Maysand team. And as well as over-seeing its own workforce, Maysand operated hand-in-hand with a group of Polish craftsmen who were responsible for the restoration of a number of the Cathedral’s internal treasures. These included ceiling roses, which were removed for gold leaf painting before being replaced in exactly the same position according to a numbered grid to maintain the same appearance to the ornate roof. During the project, seven rare 15th-century alabaster carvings depicting the life of Christ were also discovered and are now on display in the Cathedral.

“All of the different aspects of the project made it one of our biggest, size-wise,” said Maysand site manager Alan Jones. “It also made it one of the most challenging and rewarding. In a religious building you have to respect what’s there and work in a sympathetic way to produce something that will maintain and enhance its history and hopefully stand for centuries to come. Since we finished we have had a lot of positive feedback, both from the church and people of Sheffield.”

The reaction

Cathedral Dean Father Chris Posluszny said: “Maysand took on overseeing a major project which included working with many other companies and individuals, including businesses from Poland. Maysand proved to be very able to deal with the complex nature of the project and with adjustments that had to be made after work had begun. The success of the work undertaken is supported by the positive comments from parishioners and numerous visitors to the Cathedral. The Cathedral has very much been brought back to life and made ready for use in the 21st century.”

Church of the Epiphany, Gipton, Leeds by Heather Sutton

Client

The Anglican Church of the Epiphany, Gipton (Leeds)/Diocese of Ripon and York

Main Contractor

Maysand

Architect

Wiles and Maguire

Value: £220,000

Overview

The Church of the Epiphany in Gipton, Leeds, is located in the area chosen for one of first garden suburbs in the North of the city when Leeds City Council began its programme of slum clearance in the 1930s.

Opened in 1938 to replace the temporary ‘tin hut’ Mission Church on the site, the Grade I listed church cost £15,000 to build.

Architect Nugent Cachemaille-Day was strongly influenced by a church in Coutances, Normandy when designing the structure, which is an early example of a reinforced concrete frame with brick cladding, chamfered concrete plinth, concrete floor bands and raised coped parapets.

Having already undergone extensive repairs in 2012, including the re-pointing of the west wall and repairs to its window, improvements to the roof structure and rainwater goods, the church has been able to embark on a second phase of restoration thanks to funding from English Heritage, the National Churches Trust, Leeds Church Extension Society and their own Diocesan Building Fund.

The project

The latest works took 7 months to complete and focused on concrete repairs to the string courses and other features around the elevations, the re-tiling of the Lady Chapel roof, the realignment of the parapet gutters using stainless steel and asphalt and the conservation of leaded glazing to the east apse.

Major restorative work has also been carried out on the leaded glazing to the north and south aisles and transepts in a new arrangement incorporating the existing yellow glass and new hand made clear glass. The removal of the existing glazing and replacement with new glass has hugely improved the internal light at the church, transforming it into a much brighter space.

The reaction

Andrew Wiles of architects Wiles and Maguire said: “the team at Maysand delivered an excellent conservation outcome for this very under appreciated piece of 1930s heritage.

“With such large areas of brickwork being only partially pointed the new work could have stood out terribly but great attention was taken to unifying the colour and texture of the mixes used with the original. The same praise for their attention to detail can also be extended to their concrete repairs team.”