Heritage, Scotland

Church Spire Restoration Maintains Historic Skyline

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Meadowside St Paul's Church, DundeeThe congregation of a prominent historic Victorian church in the heart of Dundee city centre recently celebrated completion of a three-year, £400,000 restoration project at the B-listed building.

Work to repair the spire of Meadowside St Paul’s Church of Scotland in Nethergate has included replacing more than 200 stones — all from the same area as the original building material when the church was built in 1852 — as well as five carved stone finials.

Main Contractors for the scheme were Stone Engineering who were reported to have done ‘a very good job’. Architects were Arc Architects.

“The church’s elaborate stonework was crumbling and falling down into the street, with much of the deterioration caused by severe weather, so restoration was needed. The project required complicated works both to stabilise the steeple and conserve the stonework. The cross on top of the steeple was also re-gilded; lightning protection was installed and stained glass windows were conserved” said Mr Tom Moreton of Arc Architects.

He added that the steeple stabilisation works included cutting out broken stones and piecing in new ones, as well as removing corroded iron fixings and corroded copper rods which were causing the stone to split. In addition, some of the pinnacles were unstable and were leaning over.

The General Trustees of the Church of Scotland, who also made a financial contribution to the project, recommended appointing a conservation architect to supervise the restoration, ensuring that the church would be fit for purpose for the next 150 years.

The project also received £167,000 from Historic Scotland and £108,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The congregation pitched in with fund-raising ventures and money was also raised from several bodies, individuals and businesses, including the Baird Trust, the Ferguson Bequest Fund, the Scottish Churches Architectural Heritage Trust and the Dalrymple Donaldson Trust.

“Stone Engineering did a very good job, it was a difficult contract and was hit by severe weather which caused problems. We used high performance lime mortars which were resistant to frost and these worked very well” said Mr Moreton.

Meadowside St Paul’s Church was built in 1852 as a replacement of the Mariners Church. Designed by Charles Wilson, now this is one of the highest buildings in Dundee. The church features doorway mosaics, a hammer beam roof, stained glass, sets of tapestried pulpit falls and stone walls in the garden.

Rainbow Glass Studio Ltd

Rainbow Glass Studio Ltd carried out the restoration/conservation of the historic stained and leaded glass windows throughout St Paul’s Church, Meadowside. This work began with simple cleaning of the glass, through to removal and full conservation of any required windows. We found the project extremely rewarding and enjoyed working with all those involved

All work carried out will be of the highest standard by skilled craftsperson’s using traditional methods and high quality materials. We do not compromise the quality or finish of our work.  All work carried out followed CVMA guidelines, which promotes minimal intervention and maximum retention of original materials.

Our Directors include a PACR accredited conservator and an Accredited artist of the Church of Scotland. Please feel free to contact us if you require any future advice regarding architectural stained glass windows. We cover all areas of Scotland but we would welcome any enquiries from further afield. ICON Accredited Studio

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