Sally Strachey Historic Conservation Ltd are award-winning, ICON-accredited specialists in the conservation of historic buildings, archaeology, monuments and sculpture. We are based in the South West, but we regularly carry out work in Bristol, London, the South and South East, the Midlands and further afield. We have grown the business organically and have devoted time and energy to cultivating a strong ethos in how we work with our clients and a passion for heritage.
Our experience spans over 30 years and we have worked on a wide range of churches, monuments and historic sites, providing a full service from conservation reports and surveys, through to execution on site by our highly-skilled team of consultants, masons, carvers and conservators.
The company operates both as main contractor, sub-contractor and as a specialist consultant in surveying and issuing conservation reports. Weundertake the repair and conservation of historic fabric across a range of projects that incorporate architectural stonework, archaeological sites, museumpieces, church monuments, historic plaster and render, sculpture, polychrome and decorative surfaces.
We monitor and report on decay mechanisms as well as executing complex conservation specifications including the cleaning, consolidation, structural and conservation repair of historic fabric where necessary. We also specialise in consolidation of sculpture and decorative finishes.
As a main contractor we are experienced at working alongside key consultants such as structural engineers, mortar and paint analysis consultants and supply chain representatives. We have a proven track record of managing and working with specialist subcontractors such as historic timber carpenters, lighting engineers, lead workers, glaziers, fabricators and scaffolders. We deliver consistently high -quality outcomes, completed to programme and budget.
Client: The Fulham Palace Trust
Contract period: February 2018 – April 2019
SSHC undertook a major programme of repairs to the external facade of Fulham Place for the Main Contractor, Sykes & Son.
The project included:
· Replacement of inappropriate, spalled, plastic repaired bricks with handmade wood fired bricks. The replacement bricks were bedded and pointed in hot slaked lime mortar.
· Forming of window reveals using replacement bricks where necessary
· Steam cleaning using the ThermaTech system
· Removal of cementitious pointing and replacement with double-struck lime pointing
· Removal of organic growth
The architect specified the use of hot limes, mixed on site, which gave SSHC the opportunity to undertake workshops in situ to train the workforce in the recent revival of this historical method of producing lime mortars. The use of hot lime mortars presented its own challenges in terms of coordination with the main contractor to ensure careful management of working areas and programme to meet health and safety requirements.
The project received a Commended for craftmanship in the UK Brick Awards 2019.
Brookwood Cemetery, The Colquhoun Chapel
Client: Brookwood Park Ltd
Contract period: April – September 2019
Considered one of the ‘Jewels in the Crown’ at Brookwood Cemetery, the Colquhoun Chapel is a charming gothic revival style Mausoleum built in 1858, originally as a mortuary chapel. Built entirely of Bath Stone, the sculptural decoration was carried out by W. Boulton. There exterior gable ends comprise of intricate carved figures of knights in armour, and the roof is carried on Bath stone arches.
After many years of neglect, the Colquhoun Chapel was cleared of undergrowth and vegetation in 2016. In April 2019 Strachey Conservation began a programme of repair works to bring the chapel back to its former beauty. The works to the chapel included:
· Careful conservation cleaning of the stonework
· Lime mortar repairs
· Piecing in repairs
· Replacement masonry
· Internal stone & lime plaster repairs
· Repairs to the South door
· Repairs to the boundary fence
The site team successfully overcame the challenges presented by the high-water table and the isolated position of the chapel.
Newstead Abbey West Front and Cannon Fort
Client: Nottingham City Council
Contract period: 2019 – 2020
In 2019 SSHC began a programme of works in two phases to the West Front of Newstead Abbey, and the folly on the Abbey’s lake known as the Cannon Fort. The West Front of Newstead Abbey dates from the 13th Century and is a Grade 1 Listed ruinous structure that currently appears on the Historic England register of Heritage at Risk.
The West Front is exposed on both sides and has suffered considerable weathering and decay to its decorative carved elements, as well as the effects of historical air pollution. SSHC has undertaken a complex programme of repairs and conservation of the historic fabric of the building. Phase 1 of the works included:
· De-vegetation and removal of biological growth
· Raking out and repointing with lime mortar
· Repairs and micro-pinning
· ThermaTech steam cleaning
· Mortar flaunching
· Resetting capping stones
Phase 2 of the works commenced in 2020 and included the repair of the steps to the north and south on the West Front. This involved the careful and systematic removal and recording of the stones, excavation of the material beneath, and backfilling with limecrete before reinstating the steps. In addition, repair and repointing was carried out to the soffit beneath the north arch and to the existing steps, whilst the damaged and fallen copings to the garden wall were also reinstated.
The Grade II* Listed 18th century Cannon Fort consists of a central bay with a triangular bastion, tower and curved steps to either side; it was originally intended as a focal point across the lake from the Abbey, as well as a ship’s mooring. Since repairs were last carried out in the 1990s, a significant number of the coping stones from the crenulations, as well as flag stones from the internal flooring, had been broken and/or cast into the lake. In addition to this, the landing jetty on the north side had subsided into the lake over time.
Our work to the fort comprised the retrieval of stone from the lake and reinstatement in the building, including the pinning and fixing of merlons and embrasures. The landing jetty was repaired and reinstated, and the walls of the fort were raked out and repointed both internally and externally; there were also ten arched vaults that required raking out and repointing, whilst the flagstones to the floor arch and more generally were repaired or replaced and repointed.
The waterside location of the fort presented significant challenges to the team on site. They successfully overcame the difficulties of retrieving stone from the lake through the use of a raft crafted from planks and barrels, and a cantilevered lifting system. The team also created an ingenious bespoke dam at the base of the landing jetty, which they pumped out to enable works to be carried out in this location safely and efficiently. Working on the waterside elevation of the building required careful risk assessment and planning, additional PPE and safety measures.