Glendermott Presbyterian Church – Co. L’derry

RJ McKelvey restores 17th Century church to former glory and safeguards it for generations of worshippers to come...

RJ McKelvey carried out a beautifully sympathetic full internal and external refurbishment of the grade B2 listed Glendermott Presybertian Church building in Co Londonderry.

Originally constructed in in 1696, and significantly refurbished in 1938, the substantial renovation works comprised of the main church building, church halls, an adjoining graveyard and car parking facility with footpaths.

RK McKelvey’s ecclesiastical construction projects have garnered them much respect and admiration thanks to the hard work of their highly skilled and dedicated team. This high level of expertise was called on to provide solutions to the many challenges faced by this venerable old building.

The main church building was of solid wall construction with pitched roofs covered in natural slate and included an external garden store with shallow pitched roof covered in asbestos cement roof slates. Given the extremely poor condition of the church building a detailed condition survey was carried out by their preferred supply chain partner, Stronghold Preservations, to fully ascertain the extent of remedial works required. A demolition / refurbishment survey was also carried out to identify all ACMs, removals were addressed promptly and cost-efficiently in-house utilising McKelvey Asbestos Removal LTD.

Scope of works

The scope of works included the removal of all ACMs identified within the asbestos survey including cement roof slates to the garden store. Also included was the removal of the decayed suspended timber floor, which was replaced with an insulated fast drying solid floor. The existing ground level had to be reduced to accommodate the new floor design and the entire floor area was treated with a biocide treatment.

An existing boiler house and storeroom were demolished and the garden store was converted into a new boiler room, which involved structural alterations to the roof structure and door openings. Plaster to all external walls was removed and replaced with traditional lime render finish; templates of all existing moulding details were taken to ensure that all new plaster mouldings were an exact replica of the existing.

The roof structure was in extremely poor condition with obvious signs of woodworm as well as both wet and dry rot. This required major structural repairs to trusses, purlins, rafters wall plates, valleys and facia board. Substantial temporary works were put in place to support the roof structure while remedial works were carried out. All retained timber throughout the building was treated for woodworm and dry/wet rot with Baron timber preservation treatments.

The structural repairs to the roof were carried out sympathetically utilising various approaches, retaining existing timber fabric where possible, various engineered repairs designed by structural engineer and any retained existing timber members treated by specialist. Only where it wasn’t possible to repair or retain existing timber members were they replaced with treated sections to match existing sections.

All existing Bangor blue slates were retained and refitted on completion of structural repairs to the roof; lead flashing were replaced in new code 6 lead work. All defective concrete barges to the roof were removed and replaced with new reinforced concrete barges to replicate the original profile, while incorporating lead to prevent damp travelling down into the solid walls.

Defective cast iron guttering and down pipes were removed and replaced with pre-finished cast aluminium gutter and fitting to match the existing.

The existing three, listed solid timber staircases were carefully removed, repaired and refitted in their original locations. Substantial structural repairs were also required to stabilise and retain the three existing balconies. Structural defects to the arched top window openings were addressed with the installation of austenitic stainless steel helical crack stitching bars to both internal and external elevations.

The works also included refurbishment/replacement of all the listed sliding sash windows and external door sets, while retaining the original stained glass. All plaster was removed from the internal walls and Newton non-mesh membrane was applied prior to dry lining.

New M&E services were installed and concealed where possible with the new metal-framed wall lining system, this also included fire protection works to comply with current building control legislation.

RJ McKelvey LTD have developed a very skilled and experienced specialist conservation team who considered it a privilege to have been engaged by Glendermott Presbyterian Church to carry out this challenging project and be part of the team who have ensured this beautiful church building will be enjoyed by future generations

Project Team…
Client: Glendermott Presbyterian Church
Main Contractor: RJ McKelvey Ltd
Architect: Knox and Markwell
Contracts Manager: Richard Crawford

RJ McKelvey Ltd, 17 Carrickadartans Road,
Castlederg, County Tyrone, BT81 7NQ
T: +44 (0)28 8167 0586

Stronghold Preservation

Stronghold Preservation delivered a range of preservation, waterproofing and structural repair services for the Glendermott Presbyterian Church project.

For over 30 years, Stronghold Preservation has built a reputation as a leading specialist in  the preservation sector. It it has expanded to include a wide range of structural repair and restoration services for listed and historic buildings and structures and also specialises in new build basement waterproofing.

The full scope of works carried out at Glendermott Presbyterian Church includes: control of rising damp; control of wet rot, dry rot and woodworm infestation; vertical waterproofing of the masonry walls – Newton membrane and structural repairs of masonry.

Stronghold Preservation places particular emphasis on the repair and restoration of heritage and listed buildings and has a wealth of experience within the conservation sector.  With a commitment to excellence in their field, they are always striving to improve and develop their range of products and services, seeking out new and innovative solutions.

“Stronghold Preservation has a wealth of experience within the conservation sector.”

T: +44 (0)28 8674 8572

Taggart Electrical Ireland Ltd

Taggart Electrical Ireland Ltd delivered the complete electrical package for the refurbishment of Glendermott Presbyterian Church.

Originally built in 1696, and renovated in the 1930s, the building was in urgent need of an extensive power and lighting upgrade. Taggart Electrical performed a masterclass electrical installation to provide the congregation with a safe, energy efficient and comfortable environment to worship in.

Working on site with main contractor RJ McKelvey, the team from Taggart Electrical worked tirelessly to deliver their part of this beautifully sympathetic refurbishment project.

As an Electrical Contractor working continually across the commercial, industrial, educational and residential sectors Taggart were delighted to be part of the contracts team on this project. Careful contract management from the outset meant they could relay both on-site and in-house ensuring effective supply installation and completion of project. Intricate planning between the different services teams was key and an excellent working relationship between Taggart and the main contractor enabled them to handover the successful project.

T: +44 (0)28 8224 9333