St Mary’s, Banbury

Repairs, conservation and access work aided by OHCT grant of £20,000.

The work funded by the trust is part of a major programme of redevelopment and conservation of this Grade 1* listed church designed by S P Cockerill (with later alterations by A W Blomfield).

The initial phase of the project funded by the trust is ongoing, some elements completed in November 2018. This involved examination of the chancel roof, investigation of the void behind the apse, assessment of the chancel wall paintings with a view to conservation and planning the replacement of the existing inner glass and aluminium doors at the main entrance with disabled friendly doors that are more in keeping with the architecture.

Happily, the void behind the apse was found to be dry but many problems were identified in the roof and stonework. The next phase will involve stripping off the tiles and renewing the battens, repairing gutters, providing an access hatch to the roof void and stone work repairs. Unfortunately, the cost of the work on the chancel paintings was too much to be managed in the budget and will have to be tackled in a future project. Two pairs of glass doors have been designed.

The work started in the summer of 2019, with the erection of scaffolding, and should be completed by November 2019.

www.banburystmary.org.uk