Peper Harow church restoration is runner up in national conservation awards
PUBLISHED: 15:07 06 December 2012 | UPDATED: 22:28 20 February 2013
The transformation St Nicholas' Church in Peper Harow from burnt-out shell to a building that is light, exquisitely decorated and full of beautifully detailed stone carving has now received recognition in this year's national Natural Stone Awards
Photo: Floriane Dauberville
Visitors to St Nicholas Church in Peper Harow are not the only ones to experience the wow factor.
Its 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 now received recognition in this years national Natural Stone Awards.
At a ceremony at Lords Cricket Ground at the end of November, 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.
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 Harows estates in Ireland was destroyed and had to be rebuilt using Italian marble around a steel core. Pugins 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.
The 11th century gradeII listed church is now fully restored and once again fit for the 21st century.