Torteval Church: topping out ceremony

November 10, 2017 / 

On Saturday 4th November we were pleased to have been part of the celebrations at St Philippe de Torteval, where the Bishop of Dover, Trevor Willmott, blessed the weather cockerel. The bird was then hoisted carefully to the top of the scaffolding, approximately 120 feet high, and positioned on top of the new stainless steel weathervane by Deputy Bailiff Richard McMahon and Main Contractor Louis le Couteur.

The project commenced in January 2017 with the erection of a rather substantial scaffolding which took 9 weeks to complete. Works could then begin to inject lime grout into the core of the massively thick granite rubble walls to fill up voids which have been exacerbating moisture ingress for decades.

The removal of cement mortar from the stone joints was then progressed and the walls have now been re-pointed with a sharp sand and natural hydraulic lime mortar, which not only improves the appearance of the stonework but allows the walls to dry out.

Now that the Cock Bird is back in his rightful place, the lightning conductor can be installed and the scaffolding will start to be brought down over the next few weeks.

Maintenance works at the lower level are still to be completed, such as roof replacement, decoration of louvres and windows, and pointing of the entrance porch and vestry, and these will be carried out whilst the scaffolding is carefully brought down.

CCD would like to thank the following for their assistance; Stoneworks Ltd (Main Contractor), Geomarine (Specialist Sub-Contractor – Grouting), Access Scaffolding, Lee Allez (Manufacture of the new weather vane), Lightning Enterprises, Smith Signs Ltd (traditional gilding of the cock bird), the Church Repairs Committee, the Parishioners of Torteval.