St Cosmus & St Damian, Blean

This Grade II* listed church dating from the early 12th Century, has a fine crown post roof with a wide chancel which pre-dates the nave. The north aisle is of Victorian age and quite clearly some parts of the chancel and nave were refaced and remodeled at this time. The belfry is situated on the west wall of the north aisle where a single bell hangs in the open under a small tiled roof. The whole is flint faced although there are some patches of cement render around the south entrance porch.

The challenge

Following the discovery of a broken collar purlin at the west end of the nave roof, a preliminary inspection of the nave and chancel roofs was carried out by Clague and the DAC advisory structural engineer. The engineer subsequently reported that the entire nave roof was in a structurally unsafe condition and required urgent repair to prevent collapse.

Our solution

Temporary scaffolding was inserted internally at the west end of the nave to provide necessary support to the nave roof during the interim period until long term repairs can be carried out. An application to the HLF was made and subsequently approved.

The results

Following the structural repairs the roof was insulated with sheep’s wool to maintain breathability and provide some thermal insulation and sound deadening. The new natural zinc roof was installed with roll top battens to reflect the appearance of lead whilst new parapet gutters were laid to correct falls.