Emergency work on the church tower at Great Badminton has just started.
Towards the end of 2017 it was noticed that the south-east pinnacle of the tower had developed a significant lean towards the south porch and south-western end of the church. Due to the dangerous state of the pinnacle emergency measures were put into place to protect anyone going near the church. All access for the congregation was through the West Door only and the church was out-of-bounds to any non-essential needs and services. The lean is so significant that the stonemasons say a simple push would have seen the pinnacle crashing to the ground.
At the same time communication was made with the Diocesan Advisory Committee about making safe the pinnacle. Permission was received to erect scaffolding and to remove the pinnacle as soon as possible, and that once a methodology had been approved, the rebuilding of the pinnacle would take place under the Faculty received in late 2017, via an amendment.
The Badminton Estate is overseeing the works and has arranged for the necessary quotations from the scaffolders and stonemasons. Due to the nature of the church building, a highly complex scaffolding arrangement was needed, in order to avoid damage to other areas of the church and its roof. The scaffolding had to be effectively self-supporting, which has meant the costs for the scaffolding alone are enormous. The scaffolding erection was completed on 12th February 2018 and the pinnacle dismantling work started on 19th February 2018 by the stonemasons Phidias Neo-Classical of Bristol. By 21st February the pinnacle has been safely dismantled. Our gallery below shows the before and after pictures of the work, whilst we await rebuilding permissions.