Taking The Mullions Out
Summer may have ended but the work continues as Stonyhurst College. Our stonemasons are hand-carving brand new stone mullions, ready for installation. The wind is really picking up on the scaffold; hard to believe temperatures hit over 40°C on-site a couple of months ago.
We created a video last month about mullions being removed from the Grade I Listed building. The weathering and decay on them over the centuries finally needed addressing. We replaced each mullion with props so we didn’t risk any structural damage and set to work on replacements.
New Hand-Carved Mullions Installed
Those replacements fell to the skilled hands of our stonemasons. The mullions are hand-made on site at a nearby quarry. It’s a delicate process, each one made to measure. With four mullions already fitted at time of recording, we were pleased to be able to pick up a fifth and get it installed. We have a dozen to do in total so we’re approaching halfway on the mullion front.
Installation was about measuring, double measuring, checking, and triple checking. We drilled holes in the top and bottom of the mullion and in the stone window frame on the building. It was of course vital that these marks lined up perfectly. Then, an 80mm peg was inserted into each hole. The holes at the bottom of the mullion and frame were 40mm each, so it sat in nicely. For the top, the hole in the frame had to be 80mm deep, but the hole in the mullion just 40mm. This was so that the peg could sit entirely in its upper hole, the mullion would slide in, and when it lined up, the peg would lock into place.
Our team got the measurements perfect and the mullion slotted into place precisely. It was held in place with a wedge and anchor cement. This cement is just temporary to reduce movement until the frame as a whole is ready to be fully restored.
We’re coming up to the halfway point of the mullions and they’re looking pristine. The college is also pleased with the progress. Hopefully those cold days don’t roll in just yet!
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