Skip to main content

Conservation Blog


During the restoration of the reredos the conservator, Hirst Conservation Ltd, will be posting regular updates

November 13th to 17th: Final re-touching begins

This week infilling continued to the panels with nearly all 13 panels completed with coloured fills.

Week 7 1 2


Week 7 3 4

Week 7 5 6

Final retouching to the works has begun. This includes re-instating losses to patterns with reconstruction of designs. Tracings have been taking of all necessary areas to aid in the reconstruction of lost elements.

Week 7 7 8

The replicated halo is now ready to be installed to replace the missing halo from Panel 4. It will then be filled and retouched to blend with the surface to match the original halos.

Week 7 9 10

Week 7 11 12



Conservation Works to the East Window

Conservation treatments have recently been carried out to the East Window. This has improved the clarity of the window through removing years of built-up dirt and dust via gentle cleaning of each individual glass fragment. The original colour brilliance is now visible, along with enhanced legibility of the painted details, with the light able to shine through the window as originally intended.

Window 1

Figure 1 - examples of finely painted linework and tracery

The stained-glass window has dual functionality as a work of art and practical weather barrier, which means breaks can be a common occurrence within glass pieces. The most fragile breaks and areas of loss within the East Window were repaired in situ. Where spider cracks were present, glass fragments were in danger of dislodging from the lead matrix. For these areas, strap leads were applied to hold the fractured pieces securely in place.

Window 2

Figure 2 - spider crack before (left) and after being mended with strap leads (right) 

Window 3

Figure 3 - break with multiple cracks (left) mended with strap leads (right) 

A silicone infill was created for a hole in order to flexibly retain all glass pieces, and a strap lead used to securely hold. This allows the area of loss to blend cohesively. The window now remains weather-tight and stable.

Window 4

Figure 4 - hole and multi-crack (left) mended with silicone infill and leads to blend repair with overall lead matrix 

Window 5

Figure 5 - scaffold access allowed for cleaning of even the highest and inaccessible elements to be treated 

October 30th to Nov. 3rd: Panel Cleaning & Consolidation Complete

This week cleaning procedures were completed to all 13 panel paintings. Post-cleaning, a consolidant was applied to areas of paint loss in order to secure edges of original paint. The consolidant also acts as another protective layer for the zinc panels.

Week 6 1 2

Week 6 2

An isolation varnish was then applied to the painted surface of the 13 panels to prepare then for the next stages of treatment, along with adding an extra layer of protection while treatments were carried out to the reverse.

Week 6 3

Corrosion was then carefully removed from the reverse of the panels, followed by application of corrosion inhibitor and a consolidant to act as a protective barrier.

Week 6 4



October 23rd to 27th: Cleaning the Zinc Panels & the Window

This week corrosion removal was completed to all 13 panel paintings, followed by application of corrosion inhibitor...

Week 5 1

Continuous cleaning trials were conducted on the panels to determine the most effective cleaning method. Widescale cleaning began...

Week 5 2

Week 5 3

Cleaning and repairs are taking place to the stained-glass of the East Window...

Week 5 4

October 9th to 20th: Meanwhile, back in the Studio!

Back at Hirst’s Fine Art Studio, the conservation works to the panel paintings are underway...

Week 4 1

Last week, Phillipa McDonnell from University of Lincoln Conservation carried out XRF analysis on the various colour fields to help determine elemental composition of the paints. This data is now being assessed to provide insight on pigments used and whether it can explain some of the corrosion behaviour, particularly when coupled with environmental conditions within the church.

Week 4 2

This week, after an action plan was determined for treating corrosion to the panel paintings, the removal process began. The initial removal of corrosion product is being carried out mechanically. This careful and controlled method removes the evident galvanic corrosion, revealing the underlying zinc substrate. Corrosion inhibitor is then being applied to prevent reoccurrence. This will then be followed with a coating to all affected areas, to further prevent future corrosion.

Week 4 3

Oct 2nd to 6th: Cleaning completed - on to the next steps!

This week all of the cleaning and consolidation of flaking paint to the reredos was completed. This has revived the appearance of original and historic paint schemes to the stonework. It has also prepared the reredos for the final aesthetic stages of treatment. This will involve filling and retouching of prior losses, which is due to take place in the upcoming weeks.

3 1 2

3 2

3 3

All the crenel repairs have been carried out, and an inscription ‘R’ was found at the top of crenel #3. Crenel #8 has been re-fixed and filled, with one original pin remaining and the other replaced by a titanium rod.

3 4

3 5

Next week, scaffolding will be erected to carry out cleaning of the stained glass to the east window and treatments will commence on the 13-zinc panel paintings back at Hirst’s Fine Art Studios.

3 6

3 7

18 – 22 September 2023: The work begins

This week the raking out began to the sides and under the reredos, followed by creating a sample of the repointing….

Images 1

All of the cementitious fills to the reredos were removed, and some of the decorative repairs have commenced.

Images 2

Images 3

Images 4

Images 5

Images 6

Images 7