The St. Stephen’s Church has a long and illustrious history.
An illustrious history traced back to the Domesday Book can be found in St. Stephens Church. A presence on this site has been proven to have existed since the late 12th century. The church’s origins may be traced back to when it was initially listed as one of the three manors possessed by Ralph of Pomeroy. A tower and chancel that date back to the church’s ancient construction, while the nave and aisles were restored about 1487. The architecture of St. Stephen’s Church is an excellent example of the blending of several eras.
It is the Community That is Leading the Charge for the Restoration Efforts.
Even though it had withstood the test of time, St. Stephen’s Church started to exhibit signs of degeneration. A committed group of parishioners took the initiative to apply for a grant from the Heritage Fund to carry out the necessary restoration work on this revered house of worship. It was decided that the Church Conservation Company would be responsible for the substantial restoration and repair work that began in January 2022.
Comprehensive Restoration of the Church Gutters and Pipes from Tuscan Foundry Products
The scope of the project was pervasive, and it included the cleaning of the mediaeval nave and its oak-carved panelling, as well as efforts to stabilise and repair the structure of the church and, most importantly, the problem of water entering the building through the tower and the main walls. As part of the solution, the rainwater system at the church underwent a comprehensive renovation, and Tuscan Foundry Products was responsible for delivering all of the essential rainwater system materials. This comprised gutters, pipes, and bespoke brackets made to order, which ensured that the new system adhered to the church’s traditional elegance while also satisfying the requirements of modern standards.
Adapting to Climate Change: Increasing Gutter and Pipe Sizes
The project’s architects decided to increase the capacity of the rainwater system after becoming aware of the changing climatic patterns in the United Kingdom, which include an increase in rainfall and more damp conditions.
With a more durable system that provides more extensive gutter profiles and rainwater pipes, the church is better suited to deal with heavy rainfall, ensuring that the structure will be preserved for future generations.
A Testimony to the Art of Craftsmanship and the Value of Working Together
Although the restoration of St Stephens Church is very close to being finished, the Church Conservation Company has been praised for the careful and painstaking approach it has taken to preserve the building.
It has been indicated that the partnership with Tuscan Foundry Products significantly contributes to the project’s accomplishment. This partnership guarantees that the church will continue symbolising its rich history and strong sense of community.
Reflecting on the comprehensive restoration project, Jenny Small, a dedicated member of the Church Conservation Company, commended the seamless execution and outstanding quality of materials supplied by Tuscan Foundry. She highlighted that the successful restoration of St. Stephen’s Church does more than preserve a significant historical landmark; it plays a crucial role in reinforcing the community’s cohesion and identity. Small emphasised the importance of the restoration work in fortifying the church’s historical and architectural integrity against the challenges posed by a rapidly changing climate. This forward-thinking approach ensures that St. Stephen’s Church is preserved for posterity and remains a welcoming beacon for future generations, ready to continue its long-standing service to the community. Through meticulous planning and collaboration, the project stands as a testament to the power of heritage conservation in fostering community resilience and pride.
Tuscan Foundry: Cast Iron Guttering and Downpipes for Churches and Ecclesiastical Buildings
Cast iron guttering and pipes are invaluable in restoring and conserving period and listed buildings and have a particular aesthetic and historical benefit for church buildings. Their authentic appearance and durable material ensure a seamless blend with historical architecture, maintaining the aesthetic integrity of these essential structures.
Tuscan Foundry is one of the UK’s leading cast iron rainwater systems suppliers and has played a pivotal role in bespoke castings, radius and curved guttering for building conservation. Collaborating closely with church conservation organisations and architects.
Tuscan Foundry provides custom-made, high-quality cast iron components that meet the strict standards for historic preservation. We have one of the largest ranges of cast iron hopper heads for church and religious buildings and can provide bespoke patterns and castings to your project’s requirements.
For larger and more complex projects, we can provide onsite cast iron guttering and drainage surveys and consultation visits (chargeable; please enquire). Our expertise ensures that the restored buildings will stand as a testament to a church’s heritage and endure the test of time.