The recent project of external repairs to the mid-19th century Ulster Reform Club, Belfast has just completed. This work included maintenance and repairs to the external ashlar and carved stone, external joinery, slating, leadwork and renewal of the external lighting. The Practice worked hard for the Building Committee ensuring the priorities of commercial leases were met, quality of work was upheld and costs kept under control. We worked in conjunction with our partners, Dickson Fitzgerald Architects, Brian Jennings Quantity Surveyors and H J O’Boyle, Contractors.
In 2017-18 a National Churches Trust partnership with the Ulster Historic Churches Trust, supported by the Pilgrim Trust and working with McCollum Conservation, saw an initiative which successfully used drones to survey churches in Northern Ireland at a high level. There was high demand for participation in 2018 with 16 churches benefitting from surveys, work plans and grants and additional funding in 2019 has allowed a further 8 churches to benefit. Elaine MacNeill from Cooke Centenary Church says, “The drone survey and report identified areas of work required. Without a drone survey we would have been unaware of these problems … Read more Focus on Drones
The Charles Sheils Houses in Killough have been providing charitable housing for the last 150 years. The Grade BI listed houses comprise a well laid out series of terraced houses, dating back to 1868. However, at the beginning of the 21st century, the future of this historic set of alms houses looked very uncertain. Due to many years of neglect and disrepair through lack of funding for ongoing maintenance, a third of the houses were in such a derelict and dilapidated state that they were added to the Heritage at Risk register in 2014. The phased restoration work commenced in … Read more Charles Sheils Houses, Killough
The Practice worked with five rural Parishes in Counties Down and Antrim as they began to deal with growing backlog maintenance to their Church buildings. The issue for each Parish was different, ranging from loose stone around windows, heavy water penetration to a Chancel, heavy and destructive woodworm attack to decorative roof trusses, failing roof slating and rainwater penetration to a Tower. A detailed understanding of historic building construction and materials, coupled with our commitment to continued professional development, allowed the Practice to pinpoint the reasons for the failures that each Parish was experiencing. On that firm foundation we were … Read more Looking after your Church building
Following on from our external fabric survey earlier in the year we are delighted that, with the design work complete, we are now ready to start work on site in Royal Avenue, Belfast, overseeing a maintenance project on the external fabric of this landmark listed City Centre building. We are pleased to be working alongside Dickson Fitzgerald Architects to deliver this prestigious project for the Ulster Reform Club.
We were delighted to be invited to the opening of this exhibition at the Irish Architectural Archive, 45 Merrion Square, Dublin. The exhibition showcases a selection of archive drawings from the Church of Ireland collection, which includes 19th and 20th century architectural drawings of Church of Ireland churches and cathedrals and marks the completion of a pilot project to digitize and catalogue the collection. Dr Susan Hood, Librarian and Archivist explained that the purpose of the project “is to make an important heritage resource freely available and, by providing surrogates, to assist with the conservation of a unique collection which … Read more Church of Ireland Architectural Drawings – Exhibition Now Open
ARE YOU A CHARTERED BUILDING SURVEYOR OR ARCHITECT WITH A PASSION FOR BUILDING CONSERVATION? We are seeking to recruit a Chartered Building Surveyor or Architect with a passion for historic buildings and a track record in delivering good quality building conservation surveys and architectural work. You will have a can-do attitude and a willingness to learn and understand our projects and culture with an ability to work on your own initiative but be an effective team player. You will be responsible for minor and large works on a range of rewarding, conservation driven appointments across the province. You will employ … Read more Looking For A New Direction?
A little time spent now on a building “M.O.T.” can save parishes from having to spend a great deal of money later. Good maintenance begins with a good inspection, but the inspection of the high level elements of a church building can be a daunting, and perhaps prohibitively expensive or risky, thought for many select vestries. However, a pilot scheme, undertaking a series of high level inspections of churches across Northern Ireland using drones, is showing that this emerging technology could provide an answer. The scheme over two years 2017/2018 was backed by the National Churches Trust, partnering with the … Read more Using Drones to Protect your Church building
We are working with Gracehill Old School Trust on the conservation and restoration of the former shop in Montgomery Street, Gracehill. The building dates from the 18th century and the discovery of this slate on the roof, which records that Henry Kerr re-slated the house in 1835, gives us an invaluable connection with those who worked on the building before us. The Trust is aiming for a combination of 18th Century style with 21st century comfort, centred on the conservation of the original shop interior and commercial use of the domestic accommodation at lower basement level. Phase One of the … Read more Restoration of Old Shop in Gracehill
Frizzell’s Cottage, Ardress, lay uninhabited for approximately 30 years, to all intents an apparently unremarkable pebbledash cottage, with corrugated iron roof covering . However, concealed underneath this bland exterior is a rare mud-walled construction and original thatched roof. Frizzell’s Cottage has now benefitted from a significant £334,000, 18 month restoration project funded by a legacy gift to the National Trust. This successful restoration has been achieved by working in conjunction with McCollum Conservation, Historic Building Consultants and Chartered Building Surveyors and with the builder, Robert Weir, to bring the hidden gem back to life using traditional techniques and materials, with … Read more Restoration of 280 year old Co Armagh cottage
This photo shows a section of the Parthenon on the Athens Acropolis and the Doric Order of the structure is clear with its distinctive Frieze sitting above the column capital. However, this order exists in both the Greek and Roman forms so which type is it? It might be obvious in this case, given the location of the structure, but both forms are quite different when the detail is considered. Whilst we are not about to enter the debate about the multitude of differences here, two to remember are that the Greek form never has a base and the Triglyphs … Read more Roman or Greek?
St Mark’s, Dundela recently received a grant of £5,000 from the National Churches Trust to assist in completing internal repairs and keeping the building dry. Chris McCollum Conservation is pleased to be involved in the repairs to this landmark church in East Belfast, which recently celebrated 140 years since its consecration and has strong connections to CS Lewis. The 150 foot high tower of St Mark’s is visible across Belfast and there are regular church tours for visitors interested in CS Lewis, who spent his childhood in East Belfast. The author was baptised in the church and visited his grandfather … Read more St Mark’s, Dundela – Connection to CS Lewis
Over the last twenty or so years it has become common knowledge in the construction industry that when repairing historic buildings, it is generally best to specify and use building limes rather than cements. As a result, a variety of lime mortars for building, repairing or plastering now appear on every building conservation project. However, despite this “lime revival” there remains much to understand if the material is to be adequately specified and used properly on site to ensure that the expected results materialise (and failures are avoided). One of the most critical issues to understand is that specifying lime … Read more Hydraulic Building Limes Today
The Practice is currently involved in providing expert conservation guidance in repair to a Grade B+ listed church, located within the town centre of Holywood. The Church was consecrated in 1844 and is an important example of the work of Charles Lanyon. We are providing a specialist Architectural service from inception to completion. As part of the work we are replacing a unique Spire counterweight which provides structural stability.