October 2023

Discoveries at Burnham Abbey

Work is continuing on the Infirmary at Burnham Abbey. Built of clunch, with later Tudor brick alterations in the form of infills and fireplaces, the Infirmary is currently a ruin. The walls have been repaired in the past using modern hard, impervious cement mortars in an attempt to exclude moisture from the fabric of the building. They inevitably cracked, allowing rainwater ingress into the historic wall.

The current works aim to address the remedial works necessary to stabilise the Infirmary. The approach is one of minimal intervention, mainly consolidating the masonries and addressing the cement capping, replacing it with a ‘soft’ capping based on the current best practice guidelines. As much of the original fabric is to be retained as is compatible with work necessary to ensure the safety and protection of the historic fabric

Recently, we stumbled upon a glass bottle within the wall, a time capsule of sorts, with the names of builders and a coin, which allowed us to date the previous restoration works to the mid-60s.

The works are being carried out by Cliveden Conservation.