Maintaining our history
When a Church of England churchyard is full and closed to further burials, the church can serve notice requiring the local authority to take over the maintenance of the churchyard. We have been responsible for the maintenance of the closed churchyard of St Mary’s, Ewell for the last ten years.
The flint knapped wall surrounding the churchyard is made of brick and dates back to the 1850’s. It is locally listed and has been repaired a number of times in its 150 year plus history.
Parts of the wall had become unstable partly because of normal environmental wear and tear, including weathering and tree root incursion, and partly due to repairs in the 20th century being made with concrete rather than lime mortar which has prevented moisture within the wall from evaporating.
This month we undertook a sympathetic repair of a part of the wall. A conservation approach to the necessary repairs was adopted, retaining as much of the historic fabric as possible. However some stretches had to be totally rebuilt; where this was the case existing material was recycled, including the flints, to ensure the integrity of this local historical asset. This approach will be adopted as we address another section of the wall later this month.