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Sector: Ecclesiastical
Service: Building Surveying | Project Management | Principal Designers

Client: St Nicholas of Tolentino Church

Project: Roof & Masonry Repairs

Contract: £150,000

St Nicholas of Tolentino Church in Bristol was originally built in the 1850s and is a testament to the lasting beauty of thirteenth-century Gothic architecture. The church’s slate-covered roofs and walls faced with local pennant sandstones & Bath stone dressings harmoniously blend with the aesthetic of the Old Market Conservation Area.

The church had been struggling with issues stemming from its aging roof and the deteriorating condition of the stonework. The earlier stonework pointing, done using a cement-based mortar in a “cut-pointing” style, had begun to peel off. The pennant sandstone had excessive spalling due to the style and density of the mortar and the church was in dire need of attention if the stonework was to be preserved. The Bath stone features and copings had not been maintained for many years and were eroded in many areas.

Specialist Repair Solution from Concept to Completion

In 2023, the church recognised the need for enhancement of the building. Hookway was entrusted with the task of overseeing the comprehensive refurbishment project, which included the replacement of the aging roof slates and the repointing of wall facings using a lime-based mortar – a more suitable choice for the church’s historic fabric. This not only enhanced the aesthetic appeal of the church but also ensured the longevity of its structural integrity. Following a tendering process an experienced and professional team of roofers and stonemasons were appointed.

Our involvement included the following:

  • Condition Surveys: Hookway conducted comprehensive surveys of the building’s condition, which highlighted concerns with the roof and exterior walls with the help of drone technology for inaccessible areas.
  • Design and Planning: We proposed a design that balances the building’s historical importance with its structural necessities. This plan received approval from the Church.
  • Project Management: Our team managed the entire project, from inception to completion. This included liaising with contractors, overseeing timelines and ensuring that the work met the required quality standards.

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“Tom Bishop led us through the two-year process with a calm and professional demeanour. His contribution to the project was central to the completion of the building on-time (during the pandemic) and the design outcomes have suited our teaching and performance needs completely. A highly successful design and architectural project.”

“Hookway have been excellent and our English block looks and feels like a new building. ”

“Hookway have worked in collaboration with us to deliver this transformation project and have provided regular clear communication throughout which has helped with the smooth running of the project. The project team have all played a vital role in this year-long programme and we’re delighted the project has finished on time and on budget.”