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Our blog features news and stories on the conservation of St James's Graveyard. You will learn about new findings and discoveries from the site, the teams methods and analysis in the conservation process, and more about who is buried there, why graveyards are sites of significance and what iconography is found on the tombstones and monuments. 

Conservation Update: January, 2019

Updated: Feb 6, 2019

It has been a very mild but wet winter, making progress slow on site these past few weeks at St James's Graveyard. However, with over 200 memorials that require conservation work, the team are over 3/4 of the way through. Below are some updates from the site this January.

Boundary Wall

The repairs to the boundary walls are near complete - the first section of flaunching to the east wall is finished and the second section is underway. The team are also ensuring that the eroded bricks and stone under the capping of the wall are reinforced with salvaged brick and stone. The lime is protected by a covering of hessin.

Toby Butler Memorial

One of the most prominent memorials in St James Graveyard is the Toby Butler Memorial. The team have discovered that since the walls were reset on this memorial over 10 years ago, the stonework has since been spreading and sinking, and now the team are using this opportunity to get everything plumb, in line, and more stable. Repair work to this memorial includes the resetting of the cappings on both sides of the memorial. This will ensure the entire memorial is plumb and looking tidy allowing the railings to look back in line with one another. The ironwork and railings will be installed following the resetting of the stonework.

Memorial 384

Work to the Obelisk; 'Memorial 384' (Which you can read more about here) still remains a bit of a mystery to the team. However there are forms suggested by the brick, which the team have identified that will allow them to build up the memorial, increasing stability, in a way that is sensible. There is no new stone being used, only mortar and limecrete to build up the form.

Another table top monument shows that a lot of brick had fallen away and some erosion caused by an adjacent tree. In order to stabilise this monument they will use salvaged brick, yellow mauve brick, to bring it back up to level.

There are over 200 memorials, at varying levels of complexity, undergoing conservation work and repair at St James's Graveyard. There are a number of works to the memorials on site still on going, but the team hope to be finished this phase of conservation work by the end of March. The next phase of works will include landscape design and interpretation.

Below are more photos from on site this January, 2019.


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