Stonework carried out at St John the Baptist, Granborough

Cliveden Conservation was appointed to undertake stonework to the medieval church tower as principal contractor.

Project overview


Project Overview
St John the Baptist Church has been at the heart of the Granborough community for over 700 years. The church had suffered from extreme weathering, with a thick layer of small stone fragments on the floor and around the walls, as well as larger pieces of stone that had fallen, causing a health and safety issue. Funds to scaffold and carry out works to the Medieval Church tower were raised by the local parishioners. Cliveden Conservation was appointed to undertake the project as principal contractor.

Summary of work carried out
The original church tower, built from Clunch, a locally quarried chalky limestone, exhibited significant loss of material from weathering due to its exposed location. Many of the quoins and string courses had already been previously replaced.

Once the scaffolding had been erected, in-depth surveys were carried out to specify a scheme of stone replacement and shelter coating that would ensure future longevity of the fabric. Cliveden Conservation worked closely with the project architect Joyce Christie, structural engineer Clive Dawson and the client during this process. The results of the survey and variations to the original scope of works were agreed with the client.

Due to the original Clunch stone no longer being available, trials commenced to decide on the best stone replacement and to establish the correct colour for the shelter coat.

Cliveden Conservation’s stonemasons began work on areas of friable stone- work to de-frass loose material, taking it back to sound stone for repointing and consolidation with mortars and shelter coats.

The entire belfry level was cut out to a depth of 150mm and refaced in a Bath Stoke Ground Base Bed which was deemed a good colour and texture against the original stone.

Other weathered sections of stonework, such as the label surrounds and hood moulds of the windows, were renewed to offer protection from the weather in cases where the adjacent stone was eroding.

The timber elements were assessed, and all the oak louvres to the belfry were replaced with new English oak. The door to the ringing chamber was refaced in oak onto the original frame, and the stone opening was renewed.

The restoration of the church tower was completed successfully by Cliveden Conservation’s stonemasons on time and within budget. The combination of the new stone and the sympathetic colour of the shelter coating has produced aesthetically pleasing results. The community-funded project has enhanced and extended the life of the historic church.

Project details


St John the Baptist, Granborough

Specialist Contractor:

Cliveden Conservation



What we did

Thank you for the conservation work carried out on our church tower. They have done a superb job. I was really impressed with the commitment of the team and took special note of the youngsters, both employees and subcontractors. It was a privilege to have them on site. You have some really good staff.

Robert Kemp, Churchwarden.