St Helen’s Church in Hemsworth, Wakefield is a Grade II listed Catholic Church. Hemsworth is on the outskirts of Wakefield and was a traditional coal mining town until the coal pits closed in the 1980s.
In 2015, we were appointed by Wakefield Council to carry out retaining wall restoration and structural restraining, to the wall outside the church grounds. The wall needed repair as it had been previously pointed in areas with cement mortar which was failing and additionally, the salt from the roads at winter had irreparably damaged the lower stones.
UK Restoration Services worked closely with the Conservation Officer ensuring the mortar mix and replacement stones met the required specifications. Dry samples of the repair mortar mix were produced, and a final sample approved by the Conservation Officer.
Some of the stones were replaced with locally sourced matching stone. These were carefully sourced by our stonemasons to ensure an exact match and approved by the Conservation Officer.
The buttresses were re-pointed and reclaimed stones were added to increase their height to provide adequate support to the wall. Additional buttresses were newly built with reclaimed stone.
The wall was treated with herbicide assisting with controlling weeds.
Steps were reset in place and the whole surrounding wall was repointed in lime mortar. An area of the wall by the steps leading up to the church had to be structurally tied with heli-bar and grouted in place.
The works were carried out during the school holidays so we could have a road closure in place for the first half of the works due to the proximity of the main road. The second part involved a partial pavement closure to protect the public. We had to schedule works and access around Church Weddings, Funerals and Daily Services.
Our works improved the structural stability and visual appearance of the wall ensuring it will remain in its current condition for years to come.