The tiled floor at All Saints Church, designed by G E Street in 1857, had become deteriorated and unsafe due to being laid on a defective substrate. Quantity surveyors Sawyer and Fisher and architect Roderick Maclellan, recommended Cliveden Conservation to carry out the sensitive repair of the floor in accordance with Street’s original design.
Summary of the conservation work carried out
Cliveden Conservation assisted with moving furniture and placing items in safe storage. With the floor cleared, a detailed photographic survey was taken to provide a guide for re-laying the tiles. Cleaning trials then commenced.
Light cleaning of the floor revealed sufficient tiles to proceed with the plan of using new tiles for the central aisle, where the losses were most significant, and saving the original ones for the rest of the floor. This would overcome the issue of replacing non-salvageable tiles with new ones which differed in size.
Reusable tiles were numbered, boxed up and taken to the Cliveden Conservation Workshop for repair and cleaning.
The slab and screed were carefully broken up and the levels reduced to the minimum depth needed. To provide insulation, new foam glass pebbles were installed, levelled, and compacted. Limecrete was laid to provide a solid and even substrate.
Re-laying the tiles required complete accuracy to match the original pattern of the floor. Diagonally laid black and red tiles framed by contrasting bands of triangular and rectangular tiles delineate the central aisle and areas between the piers.
The joints between each tile were minimal – less than 3mm overall, and 1mm in places. Due to the variation in size of the historic tiles and new tiles, this process was timely and methodical.
Cliveden Conservation followed the given specification issued by the architect Roderick Maclennan. The historic floor has been repaired with minimal loss of historic fabric. The new central aisle tiles, sourced from Jackson Craven Dunhill as an appropriate match, show an honest intervention.
With the floor now a safe environment, it can be used by local organisations who could not visit previously.
All Saints Church, Boyne Hill, Maidenhead
What we did
The mortar bedding was added on the limecrete slab and the tiles were re-laid following the original floor layout
“The restoration of the floor demonstrates exemplary craftsmanship, preservation of historic fabric and sensitive conservation. It provides a valuable case study for other churches to learn from – one church has already visited.
The congregation who helped raise the funds for this project are delighted with the restored floor. We thank Cliveden Conservation, and all who worked on the project, including the two UCL students, from the craftsmen to the funders.”
Ken Smith, Church Warden, All Saints Church Maidenhead