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Wood and stone carving, letter cutting, joinery, repair of Ecclesiastical woodwork and stone masonry.

RESTORATIVE WORK

 Laurence has a  wealth of knowledge with regard to the practice of wood restoration and  conservation.  This knowledge has  led him to be employed in the repair of carved joinery items that would have  ordinarily been discarded. These include the restoration of the Jacobean  staircase at Staircase House, Stockport, the restoration of the Jacobean  Staircase at the Custom House, Exeter, and the replacement of the wooden  Automata at St Mary’s Steps Church, Exeter.  

 

Restoration of Medieval Chancel Screen, pieces of new oak were fashioned to fit around the existing historic material none of which was removed, the new pieces were fixed in such a way that they can be removed without detriment to the historic fabric

 

Replication of oak carvings for a church pulpit

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pulpit resoration1

 

Middle Temple, London.  Restoration of fire damaged Grinling Gibbons  Cherubs:

Three Limewood carved overmantles by Grinling Gibbons were  damaged after a devastating fire. One in particular (as pictured) suffered the  worse affects, it was at the centre of the fire and required extensive  conservation repair, this involved removal, careful cleaning, consolidation, and  loose fragments reinstated. After which I assessed the areas of missing carving  and carved new sections reinstating the composition of the carving. To balance  the new with that of the original I coloured the black charred limewood and  finished with a limewood grain effect. Upon refixing the carvings will receive a  protective coat of wax. The other two carvings require carved repairs only.

 

 

The fire damaged cherubs:

 

New carved section to replace missing piece:

 

Charred faces filled:

 

The completed restoration.


RESTORATION OF 16th century OAK LINENFOLD  PANELLING

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Missing panels

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New carved panels and  muntins

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Waterstained and waxed  finish


STAIRCASE HOUSE - Rescuing an historically important group of buildings for Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

Staircase House ranks as one of the best preserved  examples of medieval and post-medieval urban vernacular buildings in an  urban context within North West England. The conserved buildings stand as an  outstanding demonstration of what can be achieved through the determination  and collaboration of a wide range of organisations.

The house lies within the historic market core of Stockport. At various  periods a merchant's town house and warehouse, it comprises a two storey  range facing the street frontage with timber-framed and stone wings to the  rear surrounding an internal courtyard. Six main phases of construction span  periods dating from 1460 to the present day.

Stockport MBC had acquired the property derelict, inaccessible and in a  state of partial collapse. Our proposals for repair and subsequent reuse  provided the basis for successful grant applications to a range of funding  agencies, including the Heritage Lottery.

In view of its significance, it was proposed that the house should become a  museum interpreting its social history and its various forms of vernacular  construction. Work began on site in November 2001 and included the  stabilisation of the structure, reconstruction of the 19th century front faƧade,  restoration of the 17th and 18th century interiors and conservation of the  timber framing and wattle and daub. The carved newel staircase, from which  the building takes its name, had been badly fire damaged. Its careful  reconstruction involved conserving as much of the remaining fabric as  possible. A new building to house visitor facilities, shop and education  room was constructed alongside the historic building and work was completed  in March 2004 at a cost of £3.1m. Linford-Bridgeman Ltd of Lichfield was  the principal contractor.
 Picture  Courtesy of Paddy Boyle www.paddyboyle.co.uk
Simon Malam, Rob Fraser - Chester         Donald Insall Associates www.donaldinsallassociates.co.uk

After a devesating fire this Jacobean staricase was dismantled and all retreivable carved elements were consolidated and repaired. All missing sections were recarved prior to its reinstatement in 2004


Redecorated Automata Figures with lead capping to shoulders, feet and base.  St Thomas Salisbury.

 

Redecorated Cross

 

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Replacement oak tracery panels and backboards to mediaeval  screen, South Devon.

 

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Copy of post cap to Altar  table                      

 

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Cleaning and repair in progress to Oak cresting

 

 

Automata in poor condition               Automata renewed and decorated

 

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New  Limewood pieces fixed and carved

 

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Before                                                                        After

  

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Laurence Beckford is a Specialist Member of the Master Carvers Association

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