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Netting the Tower

St Mary-le-Bow, Cheapside

Following a recent inspection of the bell tower, we have netted some of the decorative features at high-level during the weekend of 29th - 30th April 2017.

Due to a fall of small masonry last year we commissioned a full structural survey, which concluded that the tower is in good order. However, on the basis of what we have learnt, we have netted the pots a feu to eliminate any risk from any further cracking in these decorative baroque elements. This work is purely precautionary and will precede planning and fundraising for a larger scheme of restoration. We are working with the Diocese of London to ensure that priority is given to public safety.

Of course the tower has been subject to repair many times, including the louvres of the belfry which have all been renewed during the past 15 years. Christopher Wren’s tower was among his most ambitious and novel works. There were few sources for towers in antiquity; most architects relied on the Gothic vocabulary. The tower is both scholarly and fantastic. At the time of its completion (c.1680) Londoners were puzzled by its scale and invention; not everyone was a fan. Today it is iconic and admired.

UPDATE: Following the successful netting of the pots a feu at the main balustrade level, and also the smaller ones at higher level, we are now ready to look ahead to the full repair of the stone details. As you will see from the photos taken on the day, it takes a head for heights and precision climbing, but we are grateful to the team from DBR for their skilled and careful work.

netting 01
netting 02
netting 05
netting 03
netting 06

click on the images to enlarge

pots a feu - photo Archdeacon 04-17
tower Rik Pennington
netting 04