From April 2015 Trinity’s chapel will be undergoing an extensive programme of renovation and restoration.
In 2010 a report into the state of the chapel revealed that the exquisite Grinling Gibbons carvings, the plasterwork and the paintings were in need of particular attention, alongside a comprehensive programme of cleaning. The organ will be refurbished as part of the programme of works. Works to stabilise the deteriorated stonework on the east wall and deal with problems of damp were undertaken in 2013.
Mid-May to early June
Much of the work is taking place off site, in Alan Lamb’s workshop in Northamptonshire. All of the carvings have now been removed from the chapel and experiments have been taking place to determine the best way to remove the nineteenth-century ebonised staining. The four figures of the evangelists have been restored. The window paid for by public subscription to honour Isaac Williams, a leading member of the Oxford Movement and a Fellow of Trinity who died in 1865, which was removed in 1941 and not replaced after the war, has been taken by York Glaziers to be treated in its workshop in York. The glaziers has also finished an ‘in situ’ survey of the windows which will determine what work they need.
The plasterwork will be restored by Cliveden Conservation and members of its team have been on site for the last few weeks. They have completed their survey of the plaster and moulded plaster decoration and labelled broken, missing and loose sections. The next stage, which is to clean the flat areas of plaster prior to repainting in September, has almost been completed. Jointly, Cliveden Conservation and Granville and Burbidge have completed their investigation into the how well the plaster paintings are attached to the roof structure and they will shortly present their recommendations for the cleaning of the paintings. At the same time, samples have been taken from the paintings and the painted parts of the ceiling to establish the original colour scheme and to estimate the approximate dates of overpainting and repairs to the pictures. The pews, which were found when removed to be rotten in places and to have been attacked by death-watch beetle, are being repaired, with rotten sections of their bases replaced with new oak.
Update Two – Posted 5 June 2015