Flint obelisk monument restored by Inspire Conservation in Buckinghamshire

 

Gotts monument in Chalfont St Peters is now restored and shining as it once was.  The monument is constructed with field and knapped flint and lime mortar and stands on the ridge in Chalfont at the entrance to the National Society of Epilepsy.  The monument was originally built by a local man who owned the wooded land in the area and built it as a landmark either at the entrance to the wooded area or, as a local story goes, to welcome the king when he visited for a hunt.  The monument was originally a needle obelisk which was substantially tall but was struck by lightening in the 1960’s and reduced to approximately a third of its original height.  Still standing at a approximately  15 metres high this structure was becoming a problem and a risk of collapse.

The monument was assessed and a full deep re-point was specified to consolidate the structure.  The inner core was consolidated where ever possible but was found to be in good condition.  There were several areas which were re-built in field flint, which was not difficult given the inexperienced hand that worked on it originally.  The joints were all raked out to accept the lime mortar which was our graded ‘three counties mix’ which we use on flint work in the home counties which we have monitored closely and found to produce a dense mortar with fantastic aesthetic properties.  The mix includes Ionic NHL 3.5 lime, Leighton Buzzard sharp and soft sand and graded to 8mm and smaller recycled local stones and aggregates from previous projects.  The recycled products include crushed limestone, clean collected lime mortar from other pointing projects, red brick and creasing tile.  The mixture is sieved, cleaned and graded to ensure that we have the correct ratio of sharp and fines to produce a good working mortar.  If there are too many fines then the overall mortar is too weak and will fracture, too many sharps and the mortar is too stiff.  We measure the ratio accurately and the finished result is a natural, local mortar with great workability and functionality.

This is what the client had to say about the project:

“On behalf of the County Council and our client I can confirm that we have been very happy with the works carried out at Gotts Monument and would have no hesitation in recommending Inspire Conservation for future projects.
We have been happy with the approach and guidance provided by Inspire Conservation to ensure that the remedial works were carried out sympathetically to the approval of the Conservation Officer, client and within budget. The workmanship, site management and communications has been very good throughout the project.

Once again thank you for the works undertaken and look forward to working with you on future projects.”

Matthew Hayward MRICS
Corporate Property Building Surveyor

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