Treatment of plaster behind NW wall paintings July 2017

Treatment of plaster behind NW wall paintings July 2017

Treatment to stabilise the plaster on which there are special Medieval and Reformation wall-paintings was undertaken in July 2017.

As part of the Church of England ‘100 Treasures‘ initiative, the conservationist Peter Martindale returned to St. Mary’s. He secured the plaster work behind some of the wall-paintings. This follows up on the recommendations Peter made in his 2016 report on the condition of the wall-paintings.

Treatment was to an area at the west end of the north wall of the church, up to the second window, where there are Medieval and Reformation wall-paintings. These wall-paintings had been identified in Peter’s report as being in danger of further deterioration and possible loss if remedial action wasn’t taken.

July 2017 - Scaffolding for Peter MartindaleScaffolding was required for Peter to safely access and carry out the treatment to the higher parts of the walls. It was also required to brace the specialist pressure pads Peter used to hold the wall during drying of the lime-based grouting. The special grouting is injected behind weak or flaking areas of plaster. In the picture, that looks west towards the main entrance to the church, can be seen the scaffolding structure used. The left side is just there to prevent any movement of the working platforms on the right, hence the bracing poles across the aisle.

Conclusion of Wall-Painting Survey

July 2017 Wall-painting survey

Peter concluded the week’s work by following up on his initial study of the wall-paintings by completing the survey of rest of the church. This was because of the volume and extent of the wall-paintings in the church Peter had run out of time in his Dec 2016 assignment.

July 20917 Wall-painting survey at East end of Church

This survey involves detailing the condition of the plaster and the paint. Peter also test cleans small areas to assess the level of dirt. These cleaned patches can be seen throughout the church if you look closely enough. We are expecting Peter’s second report on the wall-paintings later this summer

We are expecting Peter’s second concluding report on the wall-paintings later this summer. This will give us a complete record of the condition of wall-paintings in the church and an accompanying action list for the major restoration work, that will eventually include the cleaning of all wall-paintings.

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Grant for Conservation of Wall-Paintings

Several of Aldermaston Church’s medieval wall paintings will be conserved thanks to a grant from the Headley trust.

Extract from Church Care Quarterly Review from July 2014

… With grateful thanks to The Headley Trust, a grant of £60,000 will support work
to conserve the wall paintings in two historic churches.

St. Christopher

13th Century Painting of St. Christopher in Aldermaston Church

The walls of St Mary, Aldermaston in Berkshire are scattered with medieval paintings
depicting amongst them the images of St Christopher, The Annunciation and
St Thomas of Beckett. The second church to benefit from the award is the
15th century church St Breaca in Breage, Cornwall. The church has fabulous wall
paintings which depict the figures of St Christopher, St Hilary, St Corentine and
St Ambrose. We can now commission surveys to inform the next stages.

 

 

The wall paintings date from the earliest centuries of the churches existence (13th & 14th)

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Photos of damaged areas

Cynthia Newman’s collection of photographs showing some damaged areas, inside the church, that are in desperate need of repair and restoration (6-Jun-2014).

They show a lot of visible surface damage to plaster work and potential damage beneath the surface, that will only deteriorate further unless action is taken.

Plaster damage above main door

Picture 1 of 9

6-Jun-14: plaster work above west door, the main entrance.

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