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  to the Restoration Page. Here i have provided a full history of a project to replace the entire spire section of a large church in Belfast. This story describes in detail the processes involved in restoring the church to its former glory.


Click on image to view picture album of restoration

 

During the storm of January 2007, in which nine people were killed in the UK, thousands of buildings were also damaged.  One such building was a church in Belfast.  Gusts of up to 80mph shook the tower of the church and resulted in part of the spire collapsing.  The church and grounds had to be closed.  What was needed was a company with generations of experience in stone masonry to put the damage right.  Rooney Stone was given the task of making the top of the tower safe.

 It was a time consuming task which required diligence and attention to detail.  During removal of the four large spires Rooney Stone had to number each stone block individually to enable the spire to be reassembled correctly at a later stage.  It was during this work that the team noticed some of the blocks had large cracks running through them, which indicated that the spire had been hit by lightning at some point.

  Some of the large stones weighed almost a tonne and this necessitated the use of a crane for a lot of the removal work.  Once all four spires were removed it could be seen that the top portion of the tower walls and coping were badly decayed.  The team advised the owners of the church and the decision was made to remove the coping and walls as well for restoration.

 Just as before, Rooney Stone made plans of each side of the tower and numbered the coping and wall blocks before removal. By removing these stones it could be seen that the roof of the tower was in serious disrepair.  Again the team advised the owners of the church and the decision was made to completely remove the roof and associated lead.

 The whole top of tower was now relocated to ground level.  It was essential that the roof be restored as quickly as possible. However, before any building work could be done the stone had to be cleaned.  When rebuilding began, the first stage involved building the spires, then the walls, followed by the coping and finally the top spires were completed.  The team then pointed everything and put new lead on.  The most important and final part of the task was the sealing of all stonework on the tower to ensure the tower would be present for future generations and to withstand any future storms.

Click on the image above to view a detailed pictorial account of the restoration process.

 


Michael at work

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Rooney Stone –We provide stone restoration by Irish stonemasons. If you want stone restoration, we can assure you all types of stonework.


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