Wednesday, 12 October 2016

All Saints Churchyard Wall Rebuilding

All Saints Churchyard wall - being partially rebuilt. Photo: A. D. Winter

Work is currently being done to repair a leaning churchyard wall in Houghton Regis.

All Saints Churchyard is  officially a closed one. This means that no further interments in new plots are permitted, and responsibility of its upkeep and maintenance has been passed to Houghton Regis Town Council.

In February 2012 the Town Council were informed of a pronounced lean of All Saints churchyard wall at Bedford Road. Options to either totally rebuild the leaning section, put in restraining posts and framework from the rear, or buttresses to the front of the wall were all considered.

The Bedford Road section of the churchyard wall was subsequently monitored for movement by an Architecture and Design company employed by the Town Council.  The churchyard wall was sagging outwards due to the pressure from the earth within. The Town Council then decided to budget for the work over the next few years.

Towards the end of 2014 architects submitted a report which expressed concerns about the increased movement in the curved section of the wall.  A company of structural engineers was called in to inspect the wall and provide advice on how best to rectify this ongoing problem.

It was advised, and subsequently agreed by Town Council, that the most cost effective solution would be to dismantle and re-build the wall from the first pier on the straight portion of the wall around to the entrance gate.  The re-building was to be done in keeping with the historic nature of the wall, using the existing bricks if practically possible.  Invitations to tender for the work were sent for and the cost was put at between £32k to £62k.

A contract for the work was reported to have been awarded in June 2016.

  31/10/2016. Photo: A. D. Winter