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A survey of the stonework in 2016 revealed that stones in the top section of the buttress were cracked, eroded and in danger of falling. A stone at the base of the large pinnacle above was badly eroded. The area below was fenced off.
SW Buttress showing area fenced off
Stone at risk of falling outlined in RED
Top of Buttress: Open joints & severe erosion
Vertical split down stones on NW side
A structural engineer advised that the top section of the buttress needed to be rebuilt and that the eroded stone at the base of the pinnacle above it should be cut away at its sides and new stone pieced in.
The Priory surveyor, Arnold Bartosch, produced a specification for the rebuilding. Faculty permission was obtained and a contract was awarded to Sally Strachey Historic Conservation.
Scaffolding was erected in October and the work was completed in early December. The pinnacle was braced with scaffolding while the work was being carried out.
The new stones were tied into the wall with stainless steel cramps. The pictures below show the completed work. The colour of the new stone (peak moor sandstone) is a good match to the existing stone and the quality of the carving is of a very high standard.
By May, the Friends will fund work to clean the stone floor in the North Choir Aisle and clean the monuments there. This is to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Friends of Great Malvern Priory.
In July work will start on re-building a section of the West Wall that backs onto the Abbey Hotel and on restoring the North Porch. This will involve stabilising the pinnacles, restoring the carved detail above the entrance and cleaning the stonework. We are grateful to the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Wolfson Foundation in association with Church Care, the Droitwich Preservation Trust and the Friends of Great Malvern Priory for contributing to the cost of this work.