PETRE CHAPEL, THORNDEN PARK, INGRAVE, ESSEX
Project: Stonework repair, renovation & replacement; repairs to roof & guttering
Client: Historic Chapels’ Trust
Services provided: Quantity Surveying
Contract value: £160k
Striking Grade II* Petre Chapel, built in 1854 as a private chapel for the Roman Catholic Petre family, is set in the grounds of Thornden Hall, Ingrave, Essex. The tiny chapel was designed in the Gothic Revival style by William Wardell – who subsequently emigrated to Australia and went on to design St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne and St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney – two of the largest church buildings in that country.
Petre Chapel is built of Kentish Ragstone with decorative bands of soft limestone, which has not weathered well. Suffering significant deterioration inside and out over the years, in 2010 the chapel was gifted by Lord Petre to the Historic Chapels’ Trust who secured substantial grants from English Heritage and the Country Houses Foundation to enable urgent repairs to the roof, stonework and drains, as the first stage of a full restoration programme aimed at saving the building
Daniel Connal Partnership was delighted to be appointed as Quantity Surveyor on this fascinating and complex project. The architects were Purcell and Universal Stone were appointed as the stone masons and contractors.
The project presented a number of challenges:-
- Budgetary constraints which necessitated a phased programme of works, with the essential being prioritised
- Bats – the Petre chapel was identified as a hibernation roost and works were restricted in areas where bats were present to ensure their protection.
- Stonework – with no original drawings available to reference the chapel’s intricate stonework detailing, the stone masons had to produce their own detailed drawings from which to work.
- Scaffolding – the design and erection of a complex scaffolding system to enable the reinstatement of and repairs to the spire.
The experience and expertise of all those involved ensured that all the challenges were successfully overcome in the year long project. The clients were delighted with the outcome and their fund raising continues to enable full restoration of the chapel in due course.