St Cybi's Holyhead
Recclesia has been commissioned to undertake a highly complex phase of masonry conservation work to one of Wales' most historically significant church buildings.
St. Cybi is a truly ancient church. The original was built on the site of a monastic settlement dating back to 540 AD which itself had been built within the ruins of a Roman fort. The site is therefore of great archaeological significance in Wales as the grounds have largely been well protected throughout this entire period of time. Today, the church building in its various phases is Grade I listed, being home to some outstanding carved masonry to the external elevations an exquisitely detailed south porch.
The masonry conservation work required at St Cybi's is set to be particularly technically challenging, with multiple problems facing the same sections of carved stones. The carvings at high level on the south transept pose some complex issues, with severe levels of atmospheric pollutant deposits combined with the degradation of the surfaces as a result of extreme weathering to the sea-facing elevations. The result is some extremely friable late medieval masonry which requires a delicate and thoughtful approach to its treatment.
Over the next six months, Recclesia will be working to undertake trials of various masonry conservation treatments to establish a schedule of treatments to each of the problematic areas. Of particular interest will be the trial of site-based laser cleaning, a technique embraced by Recclesia several years ago, but which has been used in museum settings for far longer. The application of this technique in a site environment to address some complicated conservation issues will be of great interest to conservators more widely.
Once trials are complete Recclesia stone conservators will work to ameliorate and abate the loss of the carved masonry throughout the church building, including the very intricately carved south porch. The project will also see the porch windows glazed for the first time in over a century, with the addition of new bronze entrance doors, interpretative lighting scheme, structural repairs to the tower and the conservation of some very fine stained glass by the Recclesia Stained Glass studio