Why do we need to repair?
In 1824 Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, 10th Baronet, consulted architect Charles Cockerell about the prospect of constructing a new private chapel to replace the existing two hundred year old chapel at Columbjohn. The chapel at Columbjohn was inconveniently situated and had ‘gradually fallen into extensive decay, so as to make its rebuilding necessary for safety’. Two hundred years later, building works and interventive conservation are required to stabilise Sir Thomas’ new replacement chapel.
The local Killerton volcanic stone, is both one of the building's great strengths but also an inherent weakness. The stone gives the Chapel of the Holy Evangelists a beautiful hue and firmly links the building to the ground it stands upon, but it is incredibly friable meaning that the building is vulnerable to weathering. A newspaper report from 1848 indicates that the Teetotal Festival was unable to access the Chapel due to repairs, hinting that the building may have faced problems from the very beginning.
Sourcing the stone
The first phase of work includes repairs and stabilisation to the stonework façade, using local Devon stone. It was always thought that it was the stone from the Clump that had been used but geologists believe that it was a quarry at Budlake that had been originally used. The stone from the Clump was used for repairs around 30 years ago and this has perished. Fresh stone has been sourced from a quarry near Crediton, Mid Devon, which is been deemed to be the closest match. Repairs will also include updates to the drainage system and restoration of the stained-glass windows.
Repairing the interior
The second phase of works, due to begin once the first phase is completed which we hope will be in summer 2023. This phase will will address the interior fixtures and fittings including the organ and historic lighting.