Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Repairs to a Leaky Church

The current church of Saint Ours, founded originally as the collegiate of Notre-Dame, is the property of the town of Loches and was classed as a historic monument in its entirety on the first listing of 1840.

Concerned by the poor state of the former collegiate the town of Loches did a study prior to its restoration by the heritage architects of Atelier 27 in November 2015.

Restoration of the Church of St Ours, Loches.  Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

Their report recommended a programme of work to be delivered in three phases.  The current second phase is to repair the dubes (the unique pyramidal roof structures).

This second phase involves:

  • restoration of the facing for the dubes
  • removal and reinstatement of degraded structural elements of the dubes
  • sealing of the dubes gutters with a lead lining
  • treatment to consolidate the interior and exterior roof flashing
  • restoration to the interior surfaces of the dubes
I've written to the Loches town council and every one of the contractors involved in this project to remind them that the church is home to a colony of swifts. They nest in the roof, belltower and walls every summer and it is illegal to destroy their nests and disturb the birds. I pointed out that the swifts are a delight that are just as much an attraction as the church itself. I've also sent them a link to an excellent booklet written for architects and builders by a Swiss swift conservation organisation.


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chm said...

I do hope this good initiative won't fall into deaf ears!

Susan said...

Well I suspect my timing is poor so they will be able to conveniently forget to respond.

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