St Dunstan-in-the-East, City of London

Consolidation of Historic Fabric

This Grade I listed Church is situated on St Dunstan’s Hill in the City of London a site that has been used as a place of worship since ancient times. London Stone Conservation has carried out a sensitive programme of repair and consolidation to make public areas safe.

In 1668, following the Great Fire of London Sir Christopher Wren rebuilt the Church. The current Church, which now incorporates only the surviving tower from Wren’s design, was constructed in 1818 by David Laing and again all but destroyed by enemy fire during World War II. The ruin of the nave and chapels were consolidated and converted into a public garden in 1971, providing a tranquil location in the middle of the City.

City Garden staff had reported falling historic fabric in the Church, leading them to close parts of the gardens to the public. London Stone Conservation carried out an initial make safe survey, including temporary holding repairs and removal of larger pieces of masonry to prevent any further damage to the stonework or risk to the public. The survey carefully recorded the condition and location of all removed or fallen fabric, and catalogued the stonework for storage off site. Having secured the consent to carry out the works to the Grade I listed fabric, London Stone Conservation prepared a schedule to repair the affected areas, including the partial rebuilding and reinstatement of the salvaged stonework to the main arch, set of columns and window surrounds; the consolidation of all decayed stone and render; lime mortar repairs to remove water traps and valleys; and stabilisation and lime washing of the friable surfaces. The works arrested the deterioration of the historic stonework and made the gardens safe again, so that the chapel and west end of the nave could be reopened to the public.