St Laurence

St Laurence
In 2013 McMillan & Holder were invited to template, replace and repair most of the pinnacles along the Nave, Chancel and Transept of this magnificent 800 year old Church. In the absence of a Cathedral this is Shropshire’s most significant ecclesiastical building and often referred to as ‘Shropshire’s Cathedral’
The first pinnacle which McMillan & Holder was instructed to replace entirely, was the type 3 pinnacle consisting of eight component parts.
Beginning from a 1.5 metre rectangular column with a double filleted cavetto moulding in each corner.
This rose into the second section which consisted of four hood- moulds surrounding tracery panels containing a sunken trefoil. At the bottom of each were delicate cavetto cusps linking it with the lower column.
Four crockets were also added on each corner.
Section three continued of four stoolings at the top of section two which developed into four richly carved gablets. Again there were four crockets on this section.
The next two component parts were four crocketed pyramid sections which culminated in a fleuron and bud.
The geometry involved in the trefoils beneath the hood moulds was complex, but as with most of the other sections the stonemasons of several hundred years ago had been kind enough to leave their setting out clearly scribed on the bottom and top of each stone.
We copied the originals almost exactly apart from where, along with CBs and the architects, we felt greater symmetry and proportion could be found. This meant realigning the crockets to be perfectly in line when looked at in section. As well as widening the neck to allow the fleuron and bud greater stability and a more slender floral like appearance.
Work on such a beautiful building is never completely finished and there is always something to do. I once heard Churches and Cathedrals being described by an old master mason as living bodies, where old and perished limbs need cutting to make way for new growth and new life in new centuries.