Holy Rood Church

May update

Holy Rood Paye team

The team from Paye has removed all the hard, cement-rich mortar that was used to repoint the building in the past and sampled the medieval mortar behind it. These samples have been sent off to be analysed. The results will determine what kind of lime mortar should be mixed up for the masons to use for the repointing.

What work is being done in Holy Rood Church?

More conservation work is being carried out in Holy Rood Church this year than in any of the other historic buildings in Southampton. Preserving it as a ruined building presents its own challenges.

The exposed 19th century Caen stone columns that were badly burnt during the Southampton Blitz are particularly vulnerable to frost damage. Many years ago, they were repaired using resin. This is now failing and needs to be replaced with a lime-based grout strengthened with very carefully inserted steel pins.

Holy Rood Exterior

In common with many of the other monuments much of the building was repointed in cementitious mortar in the past and this is causing pointing to fail and some stones to crumble. A lot of this hard mortar is to be raked out and repointed this year. A few stones are also being replaced.

The memorial to the crew of the Titanic is also being treated. Even though the memorial is now in a sheltered spot beneath the church tower, the fixings inside the columns have corroded and have damaged the Portland stone. These will be cut out and replaced with new stainless-steel pins. The stone will then be pinned back in place.

Holy Rood Titanic memorial

Some cracks in the two Richard Taunton tombs will also be filled.