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North Wall Investigations

Project 3 - THE BIG ONE

Shortly after the tower was added in the 13th Century, buttresses were built against the north wall, evidently to prevent lateral movement. However, due to their shallow foundations these buttresses did not entirely arrest the movement and indeed may even have compounded the problem. 

The Church is built on alluvial sand & clay with hard sandstone bedrock over 20 metres down. Medieval foundations were not very deep – the north wall is built upon a line of huge boulders about a metre down.

The Victorian (1860) roof beams are significantly longer across the centre of the nave than at the east and west ends.

Investigative Work on the North Wall and surrounding ground was carried out in 2006.

  1. Core drilling into the wall.
  2. Trial pits at base of the wall.
  3. Boreholes in the north side of the Churchyard.
  4. High level inspection of the north wall and top of the arcade of pillars.

Results of the investigation were:

  1. The wall is in a parlous condition.
  2. Rotational movement is continuous and potentially progressive.
  3. Centre is 490mm out of true since it was built in the 12th century.
  4. Movement since 1968 is 49mm.
  5. Urgent action is necessary.