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A comparative analysis between Nineteenth Century restoration and preservation of Historic Cathedralsand contemporary practices.
This study uses data from reports on nineteenthcentury restoration projects to provide a comparison to contemporary techniquesand practice. The comparison identifies ways in which the restoration andpreservation processes have improved, how they have been affected by changes inlegislation, and what room there is for further changes to be made.
Scope of the Research
Research for this study began withinvestigating attitudes towards restoration in the nineteenth century as amethod of comparison to contemporary methods. R.D Pickard's book Conservationin the built environment and Earl's Conservation Philosophy highlightedinfluential characters such as John Ruskin who published work promoting therestoration of historic buildings, such as the Seven Lamps of Architecture in1849 (Earl 1996, p.42). But it was not until 1877 that The Society for theProtection of Ancient Buildings was formed. The background research for thisstudy focused on the lack of legislation and monitored control of the interiorof cathedrals, combined with the lack of preventative measures against causesof deterioration such as preservation of stone, and the misguided restorationattempts which failed to use appropriate materials. The idea for this study arose out ofthe fact that present day restorers and preservationists are acutely aware ofmistakes made during nineteenth century projects. As seen in the books andstudies used for evaluative purposes contemporary techniques and attitudespromote care and expertise in modern restoration environments. However, thereis still much room for improvement.
Section II: Research Goals
This study aims to show that althoughdevelopment of preservation and restoration techniques has been rapid over thelast century, contemporary restorers need to keep up with and promote researchwhich will be of use over the next century too. Present day work cannot undothe mistakes made in the nineteenth century but measures can be taken to tryand prevent further mistakes. Some measures are outdated, and an example whichwill be looked at is the condition of 'ecclesiastical exemption' which excludesmany cathedral restoration projects from needing authority from Planningauthorities.
The study aims to show that the study ofVictorian projects can put contemporary work into perspective - ie: that ourrelationship with past restoration is important as we can learn from mistakes,but so too is our relationship with future projects. Thus it is necessary tolook ahead at the consequences of the planning and funding of large scaleprojects today, taking into account other factors which society demands such asfire safety and security.
The evaluation will use research intocontemporary means of preservation and restoration techniques as a means ofcomparative analysis of the nineteenth century data.
Outline methodology of the research
The research carried out for this study isbased on collected data. The case study of Wells Cathedral is used as anexample of a nineteenth century restoration project and will examine thedifferent phases of work carried out during the century. This will highlightthe differences between old and new practices. Bristol Cathedral will beexamined as a second case study raising issues concerning funding andlegislation. Two contemporary studies by Cooke and co. will provide materialto link the nineteenth century examples with contemporary practices. Theevaluation will then use contemporary data to put the former studies into amodern perspective.
ChapterOne: 'Case study of Wells Cathedral.'
ChapterTwo: 'Case study of Bristol Cathedral.'
ChapterThree is divided into two sections and looks at two studies by R.U. Cooke andco. I: 'Crumbling Stone at York Minster During the Nineteenth Century.' II: 'Limestone dissolution at St. Paul'sCathedral over the last century.'
ChapterFour: 'Procedure of data gathering.'
ChapterFive: 'Analysis of secondary data': Section I: Building Control. Section II:Preservation and Restoration of materials (stained glass, stone). Locatingmaterials. Section III: Funding. Section IV: General Aspects of contemporaryrestoration practice: a) methods of cleaning; b) use of photography; c) firesafety; d) demolition and temporary support; and e) security.
Construction of the cathedral at Wellsbegan in 1179 or 1180 (Colchester 1987, p.11) and is one of England's finestexamples of the Gothic movement in architecture. Work on cathedrals would havetaken place over a long period of time - the organisation and funding of such alarge scale project meant that work was intermittent. This pattern isreflected in the history of the cathedral's restoration. Figure I, a pictureof the West Front, illustrates the elaborate design and intricacy of thestonework which the Gothic movement set as precedent. It has been the job ofrestorers over centuries to maintain the original form and the job ofpreservers to keep as much of the original work as possible. These restorationprojects date back to the medieval era but much of the contemporary conditionof the cathedral is attributed to the Victorian efforts. In 1842 restorationof the nave and the Lady Chapel was begun by Willement at the expense of DeanEdmund Goodenough and Benjamin Ferrey.(Bell (ed) 1922, p.17) This resulted inwhitewash being removed, and rows of marble tablets being moved to thecloister. The east window was also restored. However, the colouring chosenfor the window has been criticised for being a failure because of theoverall intensity of the blue which proves unsuitable as a plain background.As R.H. Malden observes, the repairing of window glass was often a case ofpatching windows with 'scraps' of glass from other parts of the cathedral whichobscured the original designs. (Malden 1934, p.51). Materials appear to havebeen incorporated into the restoration from abroad too - such as the glassbought over from France by the cartload by George Henry Law, Bishop between1824 and 1845. (Colchester 1987, p.142) Yet the loss of ancient glass - asidefrom religious reasons of the earlier periods - was largely due to the factthat it was easier to replace glass with a new window rather than to restoreit.
Lack of legislation and qualified supervisionmeant that major decisions of projects were often left to the individualrestorer's discretion. A damaging restorative effort was conducted by MrSalvin from 1848 to 1854 where the pews and galleries of the choir were removedand the mediaeval stalls destroyed and replaced by stone-work. He madediscernable changes to the design of the bishop's throne: using Bath stone, notthe original Doulting stone, and setting the former curve of the front of thethrone into a straight line. He also raised the bases of two spirelets risingabove the throne onto white 'legs' of Bath stone. (Colchester 1987, p.126).Woodwork appears to have been a problem for Salvin - not because its of itscondition, but because it obstructed from view the choir aisles and was unsightly.Removal of some of the stalls and rearrangement of the others meant that someof the misericords (seats for the clergy) were displaced (Ibid, p.127).Three of those displaced were put on display in the retroquire.
Nineteenth century projects appear to havebeen conducted under flexible notions of what should or shouldn't be removed orpreserved, often resulting in a conflict between the two perspectives. As Earl(1996, p.37) explains it:
By the middle of the nineteenth century there were clearly two majortrends (or philosophical schools of thought) working sometimes together, moreoften than not in opposition (...) The first directed itself toward the restorationof what was believed to be the most desirable or 'perfect' form of thebuilding. The second was concerned with preserving intact what had beeninherited from the past, by rejecting all unnecessary interventions.
Further to this already problematic state of affairsthe nineteenth century projects suffered from inadequate legislation concerningthe nature of what could or couldn't be restored and/or preserved. Salvin'swork was born out of a period where there was a demand for show and dramaticrepresentation in art and architecture in conjunction with a lack of guidelinesor legislation. Even later in the century and into the early twentieth centuryadditions which affected the aesthetic appreciation of the cathedral do notappear to have been monitored. Of a series of statues which were added justbefore the first world war, Dearmer comments on as having 'toned down so muchthat they are commonly regarded as of the date of the building.' (Bell (ed)1922, p.114). By today's standards an object in need of being 'toned down'would not be added in the first place.
Certainly at Wells the Victorianrestoration projects appear to have concentrated more on the idea of what anaesthetically pleasing restoration and less on the preservation of originalmaterials. For example, sometime between 1824-45, the east and south walls ofthe Hall in the Bishop's Palace were demolished 'to make a more picturesqueruin.' (Colchester 1987, p.159). As seen earlier in Salvin's use of Bathstone instead of Doulting stone, not enough care was taken to ensure the use ofthe correct materials. A further example can be seen in 1872 when Kilkennymarble was used to replace the earlier Blue Lias shafts on the West Front.(Wells Nat. History and Arch Society 1974, p.5) The marble is a CarboniferousLimestone and did not exactly match the colour of the former stone. It wascriticised for its 'slate-pencil whiteness' but weathered in time to a darkgrey, not too incongruous with the surrounding Doulting Stone. Furthermore,the original stone of the building which did remain was not preserved -this arose out of a lack of knowledge, foresight and scientific preservationtechniques. As a consequence the deterioration of the stone monuments was notadequately monitored or controlled. We see in a comment by Reid in 1963 thatsince the recording of Jewers in 1892 of inscriptions on the monuments in thecloisters, that many were subsequently lost due to decay and falling from rustystaples (Reid 1963, p.115).
Nineteenth century restoration, as it doestoday, depended largely on the amounts of funding available to the particularprojects. In the case of the glass window restored by Willement the expensewas covered - along with a carved altar screen, encaustic tiles on the floor,and the painting of the ceiling - by Dean Goodenough who paid for therestoration privately (Malden 1934, p.51). Materials, if readily available,were used, and if not, then a substitute would have to suffice. Wells wasfortunate to have a good source of lead available for its roofing. The leadmines were only four miles away and transporting it down the hills of theMendips would have been easy (Harvey and Colchester 1981, p.110). Nowadaysthis scenario is highly unlikely to occur, and later in the analysis we willsee how contemporary restoration has been affected by a shortage of stoneresources.
The Victorian restoration of BristolCathedral was inspired by John Britton's History and Antiquities whichcontained passionate appeals for sensitive restoration (Smith 1979, p.25). In1860-61 Giles Gilbert Scott undertook restoration to provide space forcongregations in the cathedral. He recommended the removal of the Tudor Screenwhere the organ was, the clearance of stalls in the choir and the replacing ofthe stalls with chairs. (Bettey 1994, p.6). The screen which had been given tothe cathedral in 1542, and which dated to an earlier time, was mostlydestroyed. Elliot also removed and destroyed some of the mediaeval misericordswhich he regarded as indecent or improper.(Ibid). A new screen wasconstructed from stone and marble and in the sanctuary new pattern of colouredtiles was laid; one that was criticised at the time for disgracing even arailway station. (Rogan 200, p.60).
However, soon after the re-opening of thecathedral in 1861 the condition of the central tower meant that morerestoration work had to be started. The site of the former Mediaeval nave hadbeen cleared in 1838 which meant that the western side of the tower was leftrelatively unsupported. In order to rectify this an expensive proposal was putforward to provide massive buttresses. Then in 1868 work was overtaken by thecommencing of work by G. E. Street on a new nave to replace the previousMediaeval one. Street used evidence of the dimensions of the former nave forhis plan. His choice of material was limited by the availability of stone: theDundry stone which had been used in the original building was no longeravailable in large quantities. Instead Street used Doulting Stone with Liassupports for the pillars replacing the Purbeck stone used by the earliermasons. His plans deviated a little from the originals as he included twowestern towers as he believed them to 'add dignity to the building andemphasise its importance as a cathedral.'(Bettey 1994, p.10) (See Fig II).Unfortunately the project did not go according to plan because of financialproblems and discrepancies within the committee concerned. It was in 1882, twentyyears after work was started, that the restoration was completed. The tablebelow provides a summary of the Dean's costs which in the later analysischapter will be used as a comparison to contemporary costs of restoration.
Chapter III. Section I:
Crumbling Stone at York Minsterduring the nineteenth century
This section draws from a study conducted by Cooke andco. on the rates of stone decay in earlier times and how they varied with theconcentration of pollutants. In the conclusion of their findings, Cooke and co. summarised that itwas 'not possible to quantify the relationship between estimated pollutionconcentrations and past rates of decay because most accounts are qualitativeand too imprecise.'(Cooke 1995, p.15). However, the study is useful in thecontext of this project as it identifies the areas of the cathedral where decaywas most severe and how these problems were addressed by the restorers andpreservationists of the time.
In the late eighteenth century a report by JohnCarr, architect and Lord Mayor of York stated that many of the sculpturedornaments on the south side of the cathedral had deteriorated because of theweather.(Cooke 1995, p.16). This decay worsened and when the south transeptwas restored in the 1870's the governing architect observed that much of theexternal stonework was in an 'advanced state of decay' ((Street1871 (quotedfrom Cooke 1995, p.16)). Further evidence of the stonework decaying can beseen in papers written by Dean Purey Cust between 1899-1908. He states that:
the lastrestoration of the West Front was completed rather less than one hundred yearsago, so the disintegration of the stonework has been rapid, and as ancientbuildings of the same stone in this neighbourhood are still as fresh as the daywhen they were completed, this disintegration is due to some cause peculiar toYork, and doubtless that is the action of sulphurous smoke upon magnesianlimestone. (Ibid)
His observations led Dean Cust to use a different limestonein repairs - an oolite that was not as susceptible to pollution damage as themagnesian limestone.
In their study Cooke and co examined a studyconducted by Brimblecombe and Bowler who examined records of the number ofworkmen employed on stonework and of the amounts paid for stone with theintention of shedding some light on the history and severity of pollutiondamage. The study in question did not fulfil its objective, however repeatedrepairs to specific parts of the exterior revealed that stone decay clusteredat certain points of the cathedral. The west front and towers were worstaffected which suggests that in conjunction with pollution, exposure to windand rain were important contributors to the process of decay.
Section II: Limestone dissolution at St. Paul's Cathedralover the last century
A second study conducted by Cooke et al followedup the research at York Minster. The previous study illuminated the fact thatnineteenth century construction workers had no means of quantitativelymeasuring stone decay. Unfortunately the study in 1980 also did not haveadequate ways of measuring the rates of decay. The possible ways included:measuring the retreat of a rain-washed surface; measuring weight loss or gainof pre-weighed stone samples; and measuring the depth of sulphate penetrationor thickness of gypsum scale either physically or chemically. (Cooke 1985,p.18). None of the above methods were likely to be very effect at identifyingthe internal disruption of magnesian limestone. (see Fig III for the extent ofthe decay present at St. Paul's). Cooke realised that a rain-washed balustradeat St. Paul's could allow them to estimate the average rate of dissolution of arain-washed feature of Portland limestone for the last two centuries. In 1718lead plugs were inserted flush into the stone balustrade during itsconstruction and they were found to stand proud in the flow zone. From thedifference of erosion between the lead and stone an average retreat rate wasestablished. ((Sharpe et al 1982: Trudgill et al 1989) Cooke 1985, p.18).
Cooke's study concluded that during thenineteenth and early twentieth century when sulphur dioxide concentrationsaveraged more than 40ppb that stone dissolution rates were high. Stone decayrates were lower in rural areas but the data was inadequate to provide aquantitative relationship between dissolution rate and S02 concentration.(Ibid).For the purpose of this study Cooke et al's experiments have helpedestablish that nineteenth century pollution led to a high presence of sulphurdioxide, which in conjunction with exposure to wind and rain led to high ratesof decay in the stonework of St. Paul's cathedral during the nineteenthcentury.
As part of the next chapter this study will look into how therates of decay in the nineteenth century (as suggested by the study of Cooke atco) affect the work of contemporary restorers and preservationists.
Chapter Four: Procedure of data gathering
The data for the research was collectedsystematically through reading books and articles on nineteenth century andcontemporary restoration projects. Some of the sources date to the earlytwentieth century and were located in library archives.
Authors such as Nicola Ashurst and BernardFielden are consulted for their work on specific methods of preservation andtheir research into general issues concerning restoration.
The fourth chapter uses examples ofcontemporary restoration and preservation techniques drawing on variousinternet sources and articles in Building Conservation journals. Comparisonswill be made between the nineteenth century projects and examples ofcontemporary cathedral restoration and preservation with the intention ofanalysing how restoration has become a more efficient and reliable process.Research will be obtained from books and net sources for an analysis of moderntechniques for preserving/restoring materials, such as ways of preservingstone; use of digital technology. Analysis will also draw from Fielden's Conservationof Historic Buildings for information concerning demolition and temporarysupport; fire safety; and security.
Chapter Five: Analysis of secondarydata
Section I: Building Control -protection for the interior and exterior of cathedrals
One of the most prevalent features of thenineteenth century restorations of Bristol and Wells was the Victorian trend ofadding and removing objects from cathedrals without needing to appeal to ahigher authority. Often it was by permission of the funder, the Dean at thetime, or on the taste of the architectural restorer himself that such decisionswere made. Nowadays people are more concerned with protecting their heritageand aim to avoid making mistakes similar to those made in the nineteenthcentury. Legislative protection now exists for the conservation of historicbuildings - such as the setting aside of the surrounding area of a cathedraland designating it a conservation area. There are guidelines set by EnglishHeritage and the SPAB which refer to what can or cannot be done to historicbuildings under the listed building control act. However, because manycathedrals are the property of the Church of England they come under'Ecclesiastical exemption' from listed building controls (Andrew: see net refI). This means that theChurch of England operates comprehensive control over church
buildings and their contents. This control is managedthrough diocesan consistory courts where plans for alterations and restorationsare decided over by a Chancellor or ecclesiastical judge appointed by thebishops. During Victorian times much work was done without the presence ofsuch a faculty. Dissatisfaction with the way ecclesiastical buildings werecared for led to the proposal that churches should be brought within the scopeof the 1913 Ancient Monuments Act. However, the church resisted and itsbuildings were exempted from the Act. (Ibid)
Diocesan Advisory Committees were established tooffer advice to the Chancellor on the aesthetic and historical aspects ofbuilding, and they became statutory in 1938. Yet when listed buildinglegislation was introduced in the 1971 Town and Country Planning Act,ecclesiastical buildings still remained exempt. In 1990 the Care of CathedralsMeasure 1990 set up a central Cathedral Fabric Commission which requires
all cathedrals to have Fabric Advisory Committees whichfunction much like
DACs.(Andrew: net ref I) The current position is that thegovernment proposes to: 'remove the exemption from all ecclesiastical buildingsexcept those of denominations which can demonstrate that they have in place thenecessary administrative mechanisms to ensure that they can operate and enforcecontrols comparable to those that exist in the secular system.' (Ibid)
Increasingly, works on ecclesiastical buildingsneed to have English Heritage approval. As the Heritage fund now allocatesgrants to some projects it is reasonable that the project plan should adhere towhat the English Heritage approves. Most churches and cathedrals that preserveany medieval fabric have had their listing upgraded to Grade II*. In relationto the case studies of Bristol and Wells Cathedrals the exemption means that theinteriors of cathedrals are relatively unprotected - as they were a centuryago. AsAndrew states:
the validity ofthe exemption can with justification be called into question. Since the spiritof the existing legislation is that Faculty Jurisdiction should operate in acomparable manner to the secular system, and since it is also generallyadmitted that the public hasan interest in churches as part of the aesthetic heritage of the nation, then it is reasonableto ask why the secular system should not be allowed to take over. Because the morecontroversial things that happen to churches such as extensions are development andneed planning permission, the effect of the exemption can be seen as increasinglyconfined to internal fittings and furnishings. (Andrew: see net ref I)
The Diocesan Advisory Committees may not be thebest authority to decide on the fate of the country's cathedrals as of 600members only 200 are experts which calls into question how many mistakes mighthave been made. This is something which surely should have been rectifiedsince the nineteenth century? Furthermore, if mistakes are made it isdiscretionary whether they are admitted or recorded so we see in contemporarypractice methods of legislative building control which are not givingcathedrals much more protection than the free reined restorations a hundredyears ago. As the author of an article on the ecclesiastical exemptionsuggests - 'Is it better for guidance to come from within by the willingowner or from without? And perhaps a move towards 'partnership', at least,with the local planning authorities, would probably prove to be mutuallybeneficial.'(net ref II).
The present situation is that the operation of controls ofecclesiastical sites is to be linked to the wider Heritage Protection Reviewbeing carried out by DCMS, which proposes to 'move towards a single system ofdesignating historically important sites to replace listing and scheduling ofancient monuments, and a single unified consent to replace listed buildingcontrol and scheduled monument control.' A White Paper is expected in thespring of this year, to be followed by legislation in 2007/8 (see net refIII). As afinal evaluative point on the topic of protection it is worth noting that manyecclesiastical buildings, including cathedrals have historical aspects to them- such as certain parts of the building fabric, art objects, or some materialsuch as glass - but the building itself is not listed and therefore notprotected by the planning authority. Further investigative procedures need tobe administered in order to ensure a more thorough preservation of cathedralheritage.
Preservation and restoration ofmaterials
At Wells the Victorian projects, at times, involvedthe discarding and replacing of fourteenth century glass. The case of GeorgeHenry Law bringing over glass from France to use at Wells would not be repeatednow: contemporary glass restoration involves going to great efforts to find asuitable glass from specialist workshops. Contemporary glass repair is a jobfor a specialist conservator who has the expertise to deal with the individualcase of restoration and its requirements. Specific criteria need to be establishedbefore any work can take place including consideration of aspects such as: thestrength and texture of the mortar to be used in reglazing; the method offixing the glass; the preservation or redesigning of ventilation systems whichallow the passage of fresh air; the noting and conserving of any windowfittings that are of historical significance; the recording of all the window'sfeatures before any work is commenced so as to assist if recurring damageoccurs; and good liason between the glazier and the mason to ensure correctmeasurements, templates, mouldings so as to reinstate the glass properly.(Brereton 1995, pp.57-8) Also important is the colour-matching and overalleffect both inside and outside - something which was overlooked by Willement inhis glazing of the east window at Wells.
A better understanding of the causes ofglass decay since the nineteenth century has helped promote more thorough andefficient practice of glass restoration in subsequent years. For example, itis known that water is the most destructive force on historic glass. The decayprocess begins when moisture accumulates to produce a build-up of alkaline corrosionproducts which attack the silica network of the glass causing surface decay.Alkaline corrosion products react with atmospheric gasses to form sulphate andcarbonate crystals and if the glass is damaged to a great extent then the paintcan be lost. (Anderson 1996). Nineteenth century restorers would not have been awareof the complexities involved in the decay process and therefore not as mucheffort would have been made to protect the glass from excess moisture. Acontemporary solution to this problem is the use of isothermal glazing - a typeof outer protective secondary glazing. However, even with such modernsolutions problems arise from a lack of experience with the product. Forexample, further research might need to be done into the moisture content ofthe air surrounding the glass after prolonged use of the glazing, and theeffect on the glass needs to be monitored to avoid any unnecessary damage.
Something which the Victorian projects overlookedwas the idea of minimum intervention. These days itis almost seen as standard for the conservator to consider that the stainedglass may not need any treatment at all - this particularly applies to ancientglass found in cathedrals. The old fashioned enthusiasm to make the glass lookas good as new and in keeping with the trends of the time is being eradicatedfrom current practice. Conservators and architects no longer have free rein tomodify cathedrals into what they perceive as a representation of contemporarytastes and trends. Subtlety and care with even the smallest of restorativetasks are necessary when handling historic glass: for example, minimal cleaningwill still allow light through the window without risking damage to thepaintwork or scratching the glass surface.
Stone: identifying the causes of decay andpreservation techniques
The two studies reviewed in chaptertwo attempted to investigate the effect of pollutant gasses on the rates ofstone decay in the nineteenth century. These types of study help to raiseawareness of the rapidity of deterioration that can occur in stonework andencourage investigation into contemporary rates of decay with the aim ofpreserving the heritage we have left.
It must have proved frustrating forVictorian restorers such as the Dean Purey Cust of Bristol Cathedral to knowthat magnesian limestone was easily affected by decay but not be able to sufficientlyanalyse the microclimate surrounding the stonework in order to help reduce therate of deterioration. By comparison, contemporary investigations make use oftechnological advances and scientific insights into the nature of stone decay.For example, the study Mechanisms of Attack on Limestone by N02 and S02 byG.C. Allen and co (Smith (ed) 2004, p.75). The study aimed to investigate theeffectiveness of resin-based coatings used to protect historic buildingsagainst pollutant gases. Their method involved exposing pieces of Bath andPortland stone, which had been treated with different water-repellent surfacetreatments, to sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide and both gases combined underhumid conditions. The samples were then analysed using x-ray photoelectronspectroscopy. The use of the x-ray meant that the data was retrievable fromsurface reactions at an atomic level so that progress of stone decay was ableto be detected sooner than other conventional means. (Smith 2004, p.76). Theyfound that the coatings had not covered all of the surfaces, but out of thethree tested the fluorocarbon and phosphate mixture was the most effective -the percentage fall of the calcium present on the surface falling as a resultof the surface treatment. This study shows that although techniques forpreserving stone have been developed since the nineteenth century, they arestill nowhere near flawless. Many products which claim to completely seal outmoisture while protecting the original nature of the stone can proveineffective when exposed to the elements or pollutants of the atmosphere.
Studies such as the rapidity of decaystudy by Cooke and co at York have a significant impact on modes of thinking inthe preservation and restoration process; namely that such rates of decay haveset an alarming standard if pollution levels in Britain continue to rise. Itis thus the job of today's restorers and preservationists to concern themselveswith ways of easing the pressure of rescuing stonework. Liasing and workingwith government officials has so far resulted in some conservation areassurrounding historic cathedrals to be designated as 'car free' - this is thecase at York Minster (Cooke 1995, p.44). Chemical weathering appears to causemost concern because of its rapidity and the difficulty in being able tocontrol it.
However, aside from the effects ofsulphur and nitrous oxides and acid rain, contemporary preservation techniquesalso look at organic causes of decay. These include: trees, climbers andcreepers; algae; fungi; lichens; bacteria; and birds. (Ashurst and Dimes 1990,p.169). Contemporary methods of dealing with these problems include the use ofinsecticides, termiticides and creosotes. These methods prove to be cheap andeffective in killing larvae and eggs; however care should be taken in finding agood make as some can leave harmful residues and if kept in storage too longcan lose their effectivensss. The product should also not be harmful tobuilding materials or equipment. (Fielden 1995, p.149). There are howevernon-chemical techniques which can exclude the presence of mice, rats and birdsfrom inside cathedrals. One way can be to monitor the internal environment ofthe building to try and ensure that no gaps are present for the animals to getthrough, although this is difficult as mice can squeeze through a hole of 6mm.This study has no data for the preventative measures against animals used inthe nineteenth century so a comparison cannot be made; this could be a topicfor future research.
The weather, aside from theconditions of wind and rain mentioned earlier can also cause problems whenfreezing. When parts of a building get wet and then freeze serious damage canoccur in the appearance of cracking. The damage occurs when water freezes andexpands, then contracts on thawing. Fielden (1994, p.105) identifies the depthin the ground where the least frost changes occur per year. These areillustrated in Fig VII. The table shows that the deeper the depth in theground the less frost changes occur. Most historic cathedrals are built ofstone and in some cases brick, both of which are porous so they can accumulatewater which will then freeze. The resistance to frost changes depends on thesize of the pores and their hydrophilic structure. Ways to reduce thepotential damage by the damp weather include conducting a thorough survey ofthe ground and drainage system to try and minimise the amount of water cominginto contact with the building.
Locating materials for use in Restoration
At Wells during the nineteenthcentury Anthony Salvin used Bath stone for his restoration instead of theoriginal Doulting stone. There was no practical reason why this was done asthe Doulting stone mine in Somerset was in operation then as it still istoday. His decision appears to be because he had 'never heard of' Doultingstone (Colchester 1987, p.126). By comparison the Bath stone was mined furtheraway and was expensive and difficult to transport. Street, in his restorationof the nave at Bristol Cathedral used Doulting Stone as Dundry stone was not available inlarge quantities, with Lias supports for the pillars replacing the Purbeckstone used by the mediaeval construction workers. This use of replacement stone is moreunderstandable as it produced a more aesthetically pleasing result thanSalvin's restoration.
Today, locating the right materialthat will produce an accurate restoration is a much more complex process thanit was a hundred years ago. In the cases of Wells and Bristol cathedrals itappears to have been the individual restorer's knowledge of stone available andits expense which dictated what materials were used. However, the construction of thecanal network followed by the railways meant that during the nineteenth centurymany more stone quarries opened and the transportation of bulky goods was notonly possible but relatively inexpensive. (Lott 2000) comments that by c1850stone could be supplied to almost any part of the country at a reasonable cost.The restorers of cathedrals nationwide would therefore have had access to stoneoutside the local area, even extending to the large scale quarrying operationsthat developed in Derbyshire, Yorkshire or Lancashire; unfortunately thisfactor was not reflected in the two nineteenth century case studies used inthis project. However, the knowledge that so many quarries and mines were inuse can help contemporary restorers in their search for stone: for example, amine that is classed as disused could possibly be reopened if that was to bethe only source for a historic cathedral. Today's society has communications whichallow people to locate stone from across the other side of the world withouttoo much difficulty. The use of lead on the roof of Wells Cathedral was aneasy material to repair and replace as the lead mines in the Mendips were localand easily accessible. Today, specialist companies provide consultancyservices - such as the Lead Sheet Association (see Net Ref IV) - can locate andorder the material for the individual restorer's purpose. Originalquarry sources for stone may prove difficult to find as agricultural and urbandevelopment have gradually changed the land surface. It was during thenineteenth century in 1839 that The British Geological Survey was set up, andsince then it has documented over 1,000 different building stones which havebeen quarried and used in Britain (Lott 2000). The establishment now upholds acomprehensive database which can be used to research types of building stone.
Today stone can be ordered via the internet fromanywhere in the world and, in some cases, can be delivered to site,pre-packaged in polythene, within days. However, contemporary quarries areunder increasing amounts of pressure to provide stone which means increasingthe size of their sites. This demand tends to be met with opposition frompeople who live locally to such quarries and to environmental protesters whocampaign for the closure and restriction of quarries. So although somedifficulties have been overcome in the process of locating materials over thelast century, others have arisen, and it seems that further research needs tobe done into creating a balance between the needs of historic buildings and theneeds of the environment.
Section III: Funding
In the example of the rebuilding ofthe nave at Bristol cathedral between 1860-1884 costs exceeded the originalpredictions. The restoration of cathedrals are large scale projects which intoday's society have become even larger. For example, the proposed restorationof San Fernando at San Antonio, Texas, where restoration of the cathedral'sfabric and interior is only one phase of the project. Phase Two aims to replace the currentrectory with a new Cathedral Centre which will have a small cafeteria,counselling rooms, museum, gift shop, reception room, television control room,and vesting sacristy. Phase Three is the construction of a Community Centre, atthe corner of Commerce and Camaron Streets, to house community and socialservices, meeting rooms, a hall, church offices, and a residence for thepriests. (see Net ref V). The surrounding area of cathedrals isincreasingly considered as an important part of the complex - the use of otherbuildings means that the pressure is taken off of the cathedral itself; atechnique of preservation not promoted in the nineteenth century. However,this also means that the costs of restoring the entire complex becomesexceedingly high. The total estimated costs for the San Fernando cathedralrestoration project in Texas is $15,000,000 (see Fig IV for breakdown ofcosts). In comparison to fig VI which summarises the Dean's costs in thenineteenth century restoration of Bristol Cathedral we see a huge rise not onlyin the cost of restoration but in the amount of development being undertaken.The Cathedral site of San Fernando is being designed to attract and accommodatethousands of people which will bring revenue to help with future restoration,whereas Victorian society did not need to cater for such vast numbers oftourists. The comparison is useful as the increasing size of restorationprojects since 100 years ago might help with the planning of future projects.If site complexes are being developed then this means an increase in revenuefor the cathedral funds. However, the more buildings which are utilised -either old or new - around the site means higher costs for the generalmaintenance of the cathedral complex in the future.
In order to help with the vast figureswhich restoration entails, Cathedral restoration projects can apply for statefunding. Boards such as English Heritage can also fund Church of England and Roman Catholiccathedrals which are listed grade I or II* and / or are situated within a conservationarea (see Net Ref VI). These cathedrals must have ecclesiastical exemption fromlisted building and conservation area control and the projects eligible must beable to be completed in one financial year. English Heritage stipulates thateligible work must either form part of an ongoing cyclical programme; be aone-off repair project that is unlikely to attract other means of funding; orbe work which improves access such as archive conservation.
Section IV: General Aspects ofcontemporary restoration practice: a) methods of cleaning; b) use ofphotography; c) fire safety; d) demolition and temporary support; and e)security.
This final section looks at some importantcriteria of today's restoration practice that nineteenth Century projects didnot accommodate.
a) Methods of Cleaning
Cleaning of Cathedral buildings can be necessary whenthe soiling is so extensive that it obscures the deterioration beneath.Buildings in Urban England first began being cleaned about sixty years ago whenabrasive methods were used which damaged the material. (Ashurst 1994, p.14)Cleaning of buildings a hundred years ago would probably have involved usingsimilarly abrasive methods causing damage which might not have been immediatelydetectable. These days there are important criteria to take into account whenconsidering cleaning. As Nicola Ashurst suggests, it is essential to employ anexperienced contractor who will be able to cope with the many modifications ofprocess that the facade will demand as its characteristics become better known;to provide a specification which defines the materials and methods to be used.(Ashurst 1994, p.15). New developments such as cleaning stone with the use oflasers (see the cleaning of a Romanesque freeze at Lincoln Cathedral - Journalof Architectural Conservation) are being integrated into current practice andit is useful to keep up to date with new research which is being carried out.
It is also worth remembering that althoughtechniques and abilities of contractors have developed in competency in thelast century, the nature of competitiveness, if anything, has got worse. Thuswhen dealing with cathedral restoration and preservation projects which areworth a lot of money to those who work on them care needs to be taken to employcontractors who have valid and referenced experience in large scale projects.This applies to all areas of project work but especially the cleaning andreplacing of different materials as once damage is done it is not easily rectifiable.
Use of photography
Although imaging was used in nineteenthcentury projects the process was primitive compared to today's standards. Theuse of digital technology now ensures high resolution pictures with finedetailing plus the opportunity to publish and publicise restoration projects.An good example is a project begun in 1976 by Professor Avril Henry at theUniversity of Exeter when she discovered that workmen were painting over mediaeval bosses andruining the original art (Dunning 2000). The potential loss of centuries-oldcraftsmanship in the cathedral inspired Professor Henry to initiate the ExeterCathedral Keystones and Carvings (ECKC) project. This project entailedthorough and careful restoration of the artwork in the cathedral. ProfessorHenry wanted to publish photographs of the cathedral's painting and sculptures,and the associated text, however, it was found that it would be too expensiveto publish the 1100 images traditionally. As Dunning says:
various otherforms of publication, such as microfiche, were tested through the 1980s, but itwas not until the 1990s that, with technology having reached a sufficientstandard, a digital version of the Exeter Keystones and Carvings could beconsidered. (Dunning 2000).
It was in 1999 that the Visual Arts Data Service agreed tohost the final project with web designer company Tell Communications.
This study is useful in an evaluativecontext as it shows that despite the rapidity of technological advances sincethe nineteenth century contemporary restorers and construction workers need tokeep abreast of developments which are occurring all the time. In cathedralrestoration where so many detailed pictures need to be taken for the purpose ofrecording it is beneficial to be able to publish the findings alongside thepictures. The use of digital technology and the internet has now allowed thisto be possible, thus increasing public awareness of individual restorationprojects.
c) Fire Safety
When dealing with fire safety in historic cathedralstwo principal factors must be considered: one, the protection of people eitherliving, working or visiting the premises; and two, the protection of thebuilding fabric and its contents. As most Cathedrals are open to the publicthe requirement for life safety measures is even greater. There tends to beconflict between the need for fire exits and the means for fighting fire and the conservationists'concern with preserving the building fabric without the intrusive effects andloss of fabric that are often caused by standard fire precaution measures.
Fire precaution issuescan be broadly broken down into two very specific categories: 'passive'protection measures which rely on physical barriers to restrict the developmentor spread of fire; and 'active' fire protection measures including, forexample, fire detector and extinguisher systems (see Net ref VII). Forcathedrals English Heritage provides recommendations concerning fire safetypolicy - such as a management structure for fire safety with clearly definedresponsibilities; a fire safety committee; and a fire safety manual andlogbook.
Preventative measures include regular fire auditswhich include every aspect of the cathedral's management and maintenance. Thebuilding should be entirely reviewed: it's water supply, storage capacity, itscondition, flammability, and condition of electric wiring. The audit shouldalso include rescue, training, salvage and disaster control planning. (Fielden1995, p.234). Fire safety relies on awareness of correct procedures by theadministrators of the cathedral. Other measures include the use of sprinklersystems, smoke alarms and the appointing of a fire prevention officer.
d) Demolition and Temporary Support
Any demolition work on a historic cathedralwhich is in a conservation area or is listed needs consent from the planningauthority first. However, if the cathedral is exempt from these areas it islikely that the approval of English Heritage will be needed before any actioncan be taken. Further to this any alteration of the cathedral fabric which would affect itscharacter as a building of special architectural and historic interest alsoneeds consent.
When examining the state of foundationstemporary support might be needed. Fig V shows two pictures of foundations atYork where the Norman grillage of oak has rotted away leaving voids. Under thecentral tower the masonry had bent but fortunately none of the voids hadcollapsed. Working on foundations can involve using temporary support such ashydraulic jacks or micro-pressure piles (Fielden 1995, p.84). It is worthbearing in mind the weight of the soil and the water content so as to replacean equal amount of pressure upon the structure.
Scaffolding and temporary works must be capableof being constructed without the need for major intervention into historicfabric. For reasons of safety and to preserve the historic fabric as much aspossible it is important that the location of scaffold foundations is properlyplanned (see Net Ref VIII). Boarded out decks might be required to enable thework to proceed with as little difficulty and risk as possible, but consideringthe extreme height of many cathedrals it is vital that all procedures aremonitored by experienced professionals who can do their best to ensure thesafety of the construction workers while maintaining the historic fabric of thecathedral as much as possible.
Today security is a highly importantconsideration during restoration projects - more so than it was a hundred yearsago. The higher value of antiquities make theft a profession for some.Technology helps to protect cathedrals from vandalism and theft - manycomplexes use CCTV and alarm systems. Fielden (1995, p.321) also suggests thatthe layout of the surrounding area should be carefully planned to enablemonitoring of visitors and that the roof structures, walls, doors etc shouldall be studied as bombs could be placed there.
As in the case of fire precautions mostefforts are preventative. Security for the building often involves preventingpeople access by using car park locks, security systems with computer control,and the employment of security guards. Other methods which have to be usedwith care so as not to damage the building are combination locks, securitylighting and laser devices.
Summary and Conclusions
The study has highlighted the considerabledifferences and improvements in restoration and preservation projects since thenineteenth century. It has also noted the worth of these comparisons forhelping with the planning of future restoration projects. There appear to bemany more factors to consider in projects today - such as the 'cars versuscathedrals' situation as proposed by R.U. Cooke at co (Cooke 1995, p.94) andthe idea that encouraging tourists to visit cathedrals in cars might beexposing the historic fabric to further pollution damage. However, tourismbrings revenue which cathedrals desperately need so the solution is to find abalance between the material and economical needs of the complexes. Proposeddevelopments at Wells plan to adapt the cathedral for wheelchair uses andprovide internal public toilets (see the Wells Cathedral Development Project -http://www.wellscathedral.org.uk/news/news.php?article=26). These requirementshave changed from those of the Victorians who were concerned with what appearedfashionable, however, the rapidity of these changes should serve as a warningto be prepared for the changes that the next hundred years might bring tocathedral history.
The nineteenth century studies showed thatcontemporary legislation has improved - eg: the demolition of the Tudor screenwhich occurred at Bristol would no longer be allowed. However, ecclesiasticalexemption means that these sort of decisions are made by people appointed ontothe Diocesian Advisory Committees's - not many of which can be classed asexperts or professionals which increases the chances of decisions being madeduring restoration that are uninformed and ill-advised.
Modern day restorers cannot undo themistakes of the 19th Century but can prevent more occurring by using qualifiedcontractors, approved methods for cleaning, and materials which fit with theindividual building's requirements. Studying the restoration a hundred yearsago helps to put contemporary projects into perspective. For example, thestudy of stone weathering by Cooke at co showed that there are not adequatemeans of studying the rates of stone decay over the last two centuries. Themethods used could have been used a hundred years ago: Cooke says they were notconsidered then, but because there is no record of these methods being useddoes not mean that they weren't. A consequence of this study should be thatmore effort is put into setting up contemporary projects so that decay can besuccessfully monitored over the next century.
In conclusion, contemporary restorationrequires good communication between the different parties involved as thisensures the likelihood of a more successful execution of the practical project- which in turn ensures a more aesthetically pleasing result. Victorianrestoration could often rely on the efforts of the individual who could not beexpected to please everyone. Where consultations did arise they were notstructured around any guidelines or governing bodies so decisions oftenresulted in conflict. Modern day boards such as English Heritage and theHistoric Buildings Association - although limited by Ecclesiastical Exemption -can help guide conservationists in the huge projects which cathedralrestoration inevitably requires. Another important considerations is thatconservation techniques should be reversible. Reversibility allows for thepossibility of future developments in conservation which may provide betterprotection or a less intrusive repair for example, and allows alterations andrepairs to be removed or reversed should they subsequently prove to bedamaging. Only techniques and materials which, to the best of currentknowledge, will not harm the object or impede future treatments must be used.
As seen in the example of the digitaltechnology used at Exeter, expertise is continually developing and it isimportant to keep up with contemporary developments while trying to maintainthe originality of cathedral buildings. As seen in the analysis of glassconservation, some aspects remain limited, and there is considerable need for areversible treatment for loose or flaking paint for example. (Anderson 1996)By sharing expertise, through full discussion at an early stage, and throughthe use of advanced analytical methods such as XRD (X-ray diffraction analysis)or electron microscopy, it may be possible to save time and money inrestoration projects, not least by avoiding costly mistakes.
Finally it should besaid that methods of restoration can be influenced more by factors such as costthan by their appropriateness or necessity. It is up to the governors of theindividual cathedral to be informed and discuss the different options availableto them; ones which will conserve Britain's heritage as comprehensively aspossible.
Recommendations for further studiesand practice
This study was limited by the nineteenthcentury examples as they were not fully representative of the projects of thattime. For example, they did not address the fact that stone used forrestoration was often obtained from sources far afield because of thedevelopment of canals and railways. Further research might look into theavailability of types of stone then compared to now and the possibility of somemines being reopened. When examining modern uses of anti-rodent devices thestudy also lacked data for whether such devices - such as pigeon spikes - wereused a century ago.
Future research might include theeffectiveness of some of the contemporary preservation techniques such as theuse of chemicals in stone preservation. As although seen as an improvement onVictorian methods products used now still have their limitations. Finally,although modern methods appear to have increased the chances of successfullypreserving historic cathedrals, there are factors which have developed sinceVictorian times which pose an increasing threat - such as flooding whichincreases rates of decay. Further research into preventative measurestherefore needs to be conducted.
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