2019 King of Prussia Gold Medal shortlist
The shortlist for the 2019 King of Prussia Gold Medal for innovative, high quality church conservation or repair work projects, run by the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association and the National Churches Trust.
Five entries have been shortlisted:
- Church of St Michael, Kirkby Thore
- St Mary, Long Crendon
- St Mary the Virgin, Marden
- St John the Baptist, Outwood
- St Margaret, Thimbleby
Photographs and more details of the projects can be found below and there is also more information about the churches on our ExploreChurches website.
The architect and the scheme judged to be the winner will be announced by Prince Nicholas von Preussen at an Awards Ceremony at St Mary Magdalene Church, Paddington on Thursday 31 October. Also at the Awards Ceremony, the winners of the Presidents' Award for new church architecture will be announced by the Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO ARIBA.
Projects are eligible if they have been completed within the last three years or after the Practical Completion stage in their development. The award is open to church buildings of all Christian denominations in the UK. The scheme must have been funded by a grant or loan from the National Churches Trust, or would have been eligible for such a grant or load, and completed within the last three years.
The winning architect will receive the King of Prussia Gold Medal, the gift of King Frederick William IV of Prussia (1795 – 1861) to the Incorporated Church Building Society in 1857. The award has been made annually since the early 1980s, when the medal was re-discovered during an office move. The medal is held by the winning architect for one year and afterwards a silver replica is provided. The winning church or chapel will receive a £500 prize.
In selecting the winning entries, judges are looking for innovative, high quality church conservation or repair work that has successfully overcome a major aesthetic or technical challenge.
Judges for the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association
Prince Nicholas von Preussen, Patron EASA; Bob Thompson, President, EASA; Graeme Renton, Vice President; Anna Joynt, Awards Officer; Bob Allies OBE; Founding Partner, Allies and Morrison and Guest Judge
Judges for the National Churches Trust
HRH The Duke of Gloucester, KG GCVO ARIBA, Vice Patron; Luke March, DL, Chairman; Richard Carr-Archer, Trustee; Revd Lucy Winkett, Trustee; Eddie Tulasiewicz, Head of Communications.
The 2019 shortlisted entries are listed below
St John the Baptist church
Brickfield Road, Outwood, RH1 5QX
Architects - Thomas Ford & Partners
St John the Baptist’s Church is a small rural church and is one of the lesser known buildings designed by the architect William Burges consisting of a nave and chancel. The recently completed conservation and repair project has been the result of five years’ research and trials culminating in a project that has safeguarded the future of the building. The solution arrived at appeared simple but was technically demanding and aesthetically bold, and this was to render the church.
Pierra Ltd won the contract to undertake the work during the summer of 2018. This proved to be the hottest year since 1976 which gave real issues of protecting the lime render, managing the curing process and safe working conditions. Some twelve months on, the new render has blended completely with the trial undertaken four years earlier, and the church is already settling back into the landscape.
St Margaret’s church
Thimbleby, LN9 5RG
Architects - PPIY Architects
This project followed the removal of the church spire in 2013. Planning permission stipulated that the spire must be re-built within 3 years. The key issue was to try to understand why the spire had failed so dramatically.
The church is built of both Spilsby sandstone (or greenstone as it is known locally) and Ancaster Limestone. Two reports were commissioned from David Jefferson, a building material scientist. It was clear that there was a major chemical reaction taking place in the stone. Following historical research it was realised that the mortar and its reaction with the stone and the brick was the most likely cause of the presence of salts and the deterioration of the building. To re-build it was clear that the tower would have to be taken down to below belfry level. At this point a difficult decision and quite a radical decision was made. Any old stone put back would contaminate new stone and the pattern of decay would continue. At low level rainwater runoff would mean that salts would be carried but if a physical barrier was created at a single point, it would be possible to protect the stone above, assuming that it was all new stone. From a conservation perspective this was a difficult decision as it meant that in the long term it would help the buildings longevity.
Work began in 2018 and by Nov 2018 the spire was re-built with the final stone lifted in to place by crane in a topping out ceremony.
St Mary’s church
High Street, Long Crendon, Aylesbury, HP18 9AL
Architects - Acanthus Clews Architects
The repair and conservation of the chancel to St Mary’s. This conservation programme was critically required to address radical structural movement to the chancel and thus save the fabric which had been placed on the Heritage at Risk Register. The church has now been removed from the At Risk Register and all involved in the maintenance of the church know that the walls can now “breathe” easily. However structural monitoring remains in place to ensure that no further movement in the walls remains undetected – readings for the last three years have shown that the fabric has now stable.
St Mary the Virgin
Church Lane, Marden, Herefordshire, HR1 3EN
Architects - Caroe and Partners
The church of St Mary the Virgin, Marden, is a Grade I listed building situated in a peaceful location on the east bank of the River Lugg and is surrounded by farmland. The present church was built around 1240. Due to its pilgrimage connections, it is unusually large for such a small village. The tower was added around 1340.
In 2013 the PCC resolved to restore the derelict bell tower. The bells had remained silent since it was determined that they were unsafe to ring due to the rotting timbers within the tower, especially those supporting the bell frame housing a ring of six ancient bells. In addition it was decided that the entire tower from spire to ground floor should also be restored. Work began in December 2015 and the restored bells were finally commissioned in May 2016. The new bells were blessed by the Bishop of Hereford at a church service in July 2016. In addition to restoration work on the bells, when all components parts were renewed, significant work was carried out on each of the other three floors.
St Michael’s church
Kirkby Thore, Penrith, CA10 1UP
Architects - JABA Architect Ltd
A Grade II* church dating from the 12th Century, restored in late 19th Century. On the At Risk Register and in deteriorating condition with wet and rotten floors, a 200m outward lean on south wall, sunken arcade, extensive cracking, condensation and algae growth, widespread woodworm activity and eroding sandstone externally.
The combination of replacement drainage, guttering and repointing has significantly reduced the moisture within the building. The introduction of 150mm of mineral wool into roof voids, and a number of night storage heaters has reduced humidity further and over time improved the thermal performance of the walls. A virtuous cycle has been established and the condensation which was a major problem has now disappeared.