The need to preserve a Tameside church building situated opposite the landmark pub “The Gun Inn” came about after the bell tower had been experiencing structural movement.
This highlighted the specialist historic building expertise offered by a leading north west structural engineering consultancy.
Rhodes & Partners’ Sheila MacLaren, the associate specialising in historic buildings, has explained:
“Although we have handled many projects on historic buildings, this was definitely a little out of the ordinary,”
The slender bell-tower is 43 feet in height and over recent years some masonry had become displaced and it was leaning to one side. A full structural survey was needed to assess the safety of the structure and identify any remedial work that was required.
“Close inspection of the structure revealed that the side of the tower which faced the prevailing wind direction had suffered from the effects of weathering,”
“Mortar joints had begun to erode, and stonework had become cracked and displaced.”
Rhodes & Partners have confessed that the survey was made more challenging by the fact that, from ground level, it was not clear whether or not the spire masonry was supported by iron cramps.
“It really was a case of examining the structure itself in great detail and determining whether or not the movement had progressed sufficiently to cause the tower to become unsafe,”
“Fortunately we have considerable experience of working on historic buildings such as this, and we were able to propose a schedule of works that would make the tower safe in the short term, and allow the lean to be monitored in the future.”
Reverend Bruce Perrin of St Mary’s was delighted with the completion of the work concluding,
“We were delighted with the work which Rhodes & Partners carried out on our bell tower, it’s certainly reassuring to know that the tower can be preserved as it represents an important landmark in our local community.”
For more details on Rhodes & Partners, please visit their website.