Grade II Listed
London Historic Buildings Trust (formally HOLTOP) (client)
Purcell (conservation architect)
£530,000 (excl VAT)
St George’s Garrison Church, Woolwich, was built between 1862 and 1863 as the chapel for the Royal Artillery. It was commissioned by Lord Herbert, the Secretary of State for War, and based on designs by architect T.H. Wyatt.
In 1944 St George’s was damaged by a V1 flying bomb. Unlike the Guard’s Chapel, it was never rebuilt, leaving its fine decorative features vulnerable to damage. Historic England added the site to its Heritage at Risk Register as early as 2000, and subsequently introduced the Trust to the MOD, who needed advice on how best to manage the conservation of the site. To enable us to secure grants from charitable trusts and foundations, the freehold of the site was transferred from Defence Estates to the Trust in 2011.
Following the Phase I project (read more about Phase I here), which introduced a glulam roof over the fragile east end and the conservation of the Salviati mosaics, the Phase II project focussed on stabilising all remaining historic fabric. Specialist conservation architects Purcell developed this programme of work and also led the delivery of the Phase II capital works.
The Phase II project commenced on-site in January 2018 and was delivered into two phases: phase 2a was completed in April 2018, and phase 2b commenced shortly after, and was completed by April 2019.
The project presented numerous conservation problems, not least the clearing of the apse crypt, which had been backfilled with rubble (and pieces of archaeological material) during the 1970’s when the upper sections of the apse walls were taken down. Clearing this space was a monumental task for main contractors, Skillingtons’ Workshop Ltd, but we now have a fantastic new space at the site, where the archaeological material is currently being sorted and a teaching collection established.
We are extremely grateful to our excellent project team for navigating the complexities of this project and to our principal funders Historic England, who offered ongoing conservation support and advice throughout.
St George’s is now in a stable condition and a 25-year lease has been granted to a newly formed local group, the Woolwich Garrison Church Trust. For more information about visiting or holding your own event at St George’s, please visit their website: www.stgeorgeswoolwich.org
We’ll be in touch soon…