Another great year of conservation

6th December 2021

It has been another varied year for the team. We have been working on high with Christ and his entourage of apostles and angels at the top of the West Front of Wells Cathedral, and down in a subterranean grotto constructing a wonderland of crystal and stone.

We have affixed floors to walls by vertically hanging the Roman Fordington Mosaic at the Dorset Museum and have been busy with the usual mix of floor and ceiling repairs, and conservation to wall paintings and other decorative finishes – notable projects being the recently completed restoration of the Victorian tiled floor at All Saints Church in Maidenhead, the conservation of a rare, early 17th century plaster ceiling in Chichester and our work to a Coade stone druid statue – the latter two nominated for awards.

We’ve recently finished on site after several years at a fantastic project in Mayfair, London – a project that saw us undertaking external renders, stone repairs and new masonry steps, balustrades and paving. Inside we have stripped historic paint layers from plaster, timber and ‘compo’ embellishment, exposing hidden details to be enjoyed once more, and a huge scheme of new and repaired Stuc Pierre plaster finishes.

Another project which has incorporated numerous interventions is the Chapter House at Christchurch Cathedral: our team cleaned and repaired a marble floor, plaster walls, stone mouldings and decorative detailing and reconfigured the 12th century door and stone steps to enable better access into the room.

Each of these projects demonstrates the breadth of talent and experience my colleagues have, allowing us to work on some of the UK’s most iconic buildings and important objects. It’s telling that some of our most successful projects have seen us collaborate with the client and design teams right from the start to develop specification and methodology as in the Grotto and Wells Cathedral pilot phase. And of course we have finally been able to tell the world about our work at Elizabeth Tower – undertaking trials and analysis on the many paint layers in order to develop the methodology and specification for reinstating the original Barry decorative scheme. With the scaffold now coming down, our beautiful gilding is visible to all in the winter sunlight. We have featured in not one, but two episodes of the Heritage Rescue programme, focusing on our work at Wentworth Woodhouse, and Powderham Castle.

As well as being a great year for quality projects, we have been working hard behind the scenes at Cliveden Conservation to develop our systems and processes and make sure that we are providing the best support for our hardworking site teams so they can focus on what they do best – which is delivering exceptional conservation work. We have some new recruits and plenty of good opportunities going into 2022 so we are looking forward to the new year and all that it might bring for the business. We would love to share our experiences with you all – so if you would like us to deliver a case study or CPD on some of our recent projects please do get in touch.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us in 2021: our clients, colleagues, support staff and consultants. We are very grateful to be able to collaborate with such a diverse and passionate group of people who really do care about conserving our nation’s heritage.

Merry Christmas, and best wishes for 2022 from all the team at Cliveden Conservation.


Image: Wells Cathedral. Copyright: Dr Jonathan Foyle