In 2013 Buttress was appointed to carry out restoration work to Holy Trinity, an active Anglican church close to Platt Hall in Rusholme, Manchester.
Designed by the architect Edmund Sharpe, Holy Trinity was built in 1845-46 for Thomas Carrill Worsley of Platt Hall. The church was the second of three constructed by the architect using yellow, buff and brown terracotta - chosen as a showcase for the terracotta business owned by the architect's wife and her brother.
Over its lifespan, the church had seen some deterioration with erosion to its terracotta ‘bricks’ and loss of some decorative pieces of terracotta.
Two of the decorative flying buttresses on the north side of the church had not been replaced since 1912 and were in a poor state of repair, with previous cement repairs and central reinforcing bars that were severely corroded. A decision was taken to replace these along with the worst of the blocks at the lower levels of the spire. Missing decorative elements of terracotta were also reinstated.
The body of the Church, the tower and lower stage of the spire are made up of terracotta bricks, many of which had lost their fire clay surface, exposing the blocks to freeze and thaw erosion. These blocks were replicated and replaced at the base of the spire and the parapet wall.
All of the replica bricks were produced by a terracotta artisan, who was able to both reproduce bricks in a colour closely matching the original and produce the highly decorative pieces including finials for the spire lucarnes and buttress tops; a large crocketted finial for the stair turret; gargoyles and decorative label stop heads.
The four faces of the spire to the north and east were repointed using lime mortar and the tower parapet gutter was renewed with asphalt with new lead flashings.
In identifying a manufacturer that could reproduce materials close to the original, its features could be sympathetically restored to its fullest.
EASA King of Prussia Gold Medal 2016: Shortlisted