Damp and salt had affected the internal walls, with damage evident to the dado stencil – the decorative painted strip illuminating the inside of the church. A painted dark brown cement render to the dado, itself an earlier attempt at conservation, had exacerbated the damp issues.
Under the watchful eye of the National Trust’s conservation architect Kyra Lomas, working with builders CLPM, the cement render was removed, salts were reduced through a vacuum process and the walls were re-rendered in lime and repainted with white lime wash. There is still some more investigation work to be done as we attempt to identify the original colour and pattern of the dado.
The church’s floorboards, which were scratched and dull, now give off a warm glow after a very light sand and finish with Tung oil.
Additional conservation included strengthening the internal arch, oiling and replacing timber roof shingles, installing new aged-copper gutters and downpipes, repointing bricks with lime mortar and repairing the leadlight windows.
This project, while carrying out much-needed repairs to this special place, also allowed our conservation experts to trial different salt remediation methods in order to improve our technical knowledge and better inform others in the field of best practice conservation.
We’re thrilled with the results of the conservation project, made possible by the support of Lotterywest, and the knowledge we have gained through doing it. We’re confident that with regular maintenance St Bartholomew’s Church will remain one of Perth’s treasured places to be appreciated by future generations.