Yesterday, Jim, John and Clara were experimenting with getting the right historic colour on the staining of the Church’s staircase. Often the Georgians stained cheaper hardwood with a reddish dark brown colour to mimic the appearance of fashionable mahogany. We think we’ve nearly found the right colour!
Category Archives: St Helen’s Church
While the lime plaster inside the Church dries, the Team have been sourcing collections to dress the interior.
These include two pews that have been reconditioned by the joiners and will be going into the Church’s chancel. Characteristically uncomfortable to stop you falling asleep during services, the most ancient of the two probably dates from the early 1700s.
We’ve also been experimenting with how to hang our Belgium chandeliers, which will be used to authentically illuminate the Church with candle light.
Paul and Cos have been working hard to complete the grand entrance way to the churchyard of St Helen’s. The huge stone gate posts and their flanking walls are now in place. Soon the reclaimed Georgian gate will be hung and a specially made wrought iron handrail installed.
Today, was an exciting day at St Helen’s Church as the two ancient bells were finally installed into the bell frames of the belfry. They will soon be set up with ropes and pulleys, so that the sound of bells ringing from the tower will be heard for the first time in half a century.
The priest’s entrance in the chancel has now been hung with a reclaimed lapped oak door, complete with a iron Suffolk latch decorated with a pheasant head.
Our traditional lime plasterers from NEPR have nearly finished the top coat in the nave of the Church; gradually transforming the building’s shell.
To help inform us about how to interpret the inside of St Helen’s, we have looked at other contemporary churches. A couple of weeks ago, Jim and Clara visited a beautiful church in Lincolnshire. St Mary’s has Anglo Saxon origins, including an intriguing cat carving on one of its external window lintels.
Like St Helen’s, St Mary’s was greatly altered in the late Georgian period, and was again changed by the Victorians. The Georgian gallery and box pews (to the rear of the church), as well as the lime-washed walls and exposed roof trusses give a real sense of how St Helen’s should appear once it is completed.
As the weather gets warmer, work on St Helen’s is progressing fast. Shaun, Dan and Jack have now finished installing their beautifully constructed oak staircase, which makes use of some reclaimed 17th century spindles.
Our lime plasterers have also been busy and the final scratch coat of plaster (made using a traditional mixture of lime, sand, water and goat hair) is just being applied.
Outside, the front path leading to the church’s entrance has been laid and work continues on landscaping the churchyard.