St. Paul’s, Deptford

Apse wall painting and memorials, St. Paul’s Church, Deptford

One of the ‘Fifty Churches’, St. Paul’s is a magnificent example of Italian, classically inspired architecture designed for Anglican requirements by Thomas Archer and built between 1712-30.

Prior to a major programme of investigation and restoration the interior was damaged by a small electrical fire which caused widespread smoke deposits and localised heat related damage. The apse painting by Henry Turner (c.1724) depicting a trompe l’oeil scheme which extended onto and incorporated the adjacent architectural elements was blackened and scorched by the fire. There were also large areas of unstable paint caused by previous water infiltration. The treatment included the removal of soot deposits, stabilisation of the paint, retouching and varnishing.

Eight wall memorials carved from marble with polychrome elements were also affected by the fire. Some of the memorials are very fine and include the memorial to Vice Admiral James Sayer, carved by the workshop of Joseph Nollekens, R.A. (1737-1823). Overall cleaning and stabilisation of these were undertaken.

In pictures

Click on any image for a larger version.

During cleaning Burney memorial