Restoration of fire-damaged All Saints Church Fleet

Cliveden Conservation was appointed as the specialist subcontractor to Buxton Building Contractors as part of a major restoration project of the church.

Project overview

Internal and external brick repairs, complete reinstatement of tiled floor, painted decorative scheme and associated stone conservation.

Project Overview
All Saints Church Fleet, designed in 1860 by the renowned Victorian architect William Burges, was the subject of an arson attack in 2015 which had left the interior and roof destroyed. Cliveden Conservation was called in by architects Acanthus Clews to undertake condition surveys of the interior fabric, monuments and objects that had been affected by the fire. In 2021, Cliveden Conservation was appointed as the specialist subcontractor to Buxton Building Contractors as part of a major restoration project of the church.

Summary of work carried out
The church had been completely gutted by fire; not only had the painted decoration been damaged and lost, but all surfaces were affected by smoke and debris from the fire. A comprehensive scheme of cleaning had to be undertaken before conservation and redecoration works could commence.

Works were then undertaken to relay the Victorian tiled floor, clean and repair the internal brickwork – including repointing, brick replacement and complete redecoration – to reinstate the beautiful decorative scheme. Specialist conservation treatment was carried out to various objects within the church including the font, pulpit, timber altar, altar rail, monuments, and wall plaques.

During the works, historic wall paintings were discovered on the chancel ceiling. The Decorative Arts section of the business advised an appropriate course of action to stabilise, record and protect them during the building work and on completion.

Externally, the stonemasons carried out brick repairs and repointing to the church as well as undertaking the new build of a brickwork porch with finely detailed brick arches to the main entrance.

Cliveden Conservation managed their aspect of the works in collaboration with other trades also working onsite within the small confines of the church. The restoration of the church was completed on time and is being enjoyed by the community. The project is a fine example of reclaimed and restored historic fabric, with a new roof and crisp decoration, all illuminated by the magnificent stained-glass window. The comparison between the utter devastation after the fire and the restored space of the church is something to behold.

Project details


Acanthus Clews
Buxton Building Contractors

Specialist Contractor:

Cliveden Conservation


Advisory and material analysis | Decorative arts | Stonework

What we did

‘So many visitors to the newly rebuilt All Saints comment upon the extraordinary work achieved by the Cliveden Conservation team. They have manged to restore the stunning Burgess wall art, not to how it was before the fire, but to how it was originally conceived to be. People are astonished when they are told this was all done by hand and cannot believe the work and skill that must have been involved. The church has a real wow factor that you can see reflected in the faces of parishioners and visitors alike. Cliveden Conservation have achieved something really special for our community and to the glory of God and we are very grateful to them for it.’  Mark Hayton Vicar of All Saints.

Mark Hayton, Vicar of All Saints Church, Fleet