St Peter the Apostle Church, Broadstairs

Clague Architect’s specialist conservation team was contracted to conduct urgent structural masonry repairs on an 11th century church. Engaged by the Parochial Church Council, the Kent-based firm worked closely with Pierra Restoration and Baqus to restore the St Peter the Apostle church in Broadstiars. Supported by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant, this once in a generation-style repair was conducted while the church remained open.

The Church of St Peter the Apostle, Broadstairs, dating from around 1070, was in need of urgent restoration.

Due to the budget, this specialized repair focused heavily on conserving the upper stages of the tower. The two main challenges centered on the location of the church and the type of building materials required. The churchyard footpath needed to remain open, and so adequate protection had to be made for the public using it. In addition, the team offered stonemasonry education to the public to aid positive engagement and raise awareness of the conservation work involved.

Working closely with the church, Pierra Restoration, and CDM advisors Baqus, an in-depth photographic survey of the castellated 15th century tower was undertaken by JC White and enabled us to establish the scope of repairs.

This initial development work and investigation for grant funding provided useful insights into the condition of the stonework.

The works were supported by grants, including a significant one from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The church of St Peter the Apostle is constructed from Kentish Ragstone which can only be sourced from Gallagher’s Hermitage Quarry near Maidstone. Without Gallagher’s Kentish Ragstone, the sensitive restoration would not have been possible.

The church is an important landmark for the area. Used as a signaling station during the Napoleonic Wars, the prominent sea mark was in danger of losing its clock dial.

We had the dial removed, re-gilded and repaired by the amazing team at Smith of Derby.

Removing the dial meant we could access the stonework around the dial and form a new lead flashing around a new oak dial surround for durability.

Despite time and funding pressures, we made sufficient savings to repair the lower section of the tower. Thanks to HLF funding and a superb partnership, the restoration was finished within budget to satisfaction of the PCC and Historic England.