Our final visit of the day took us to the Grade II-listed St. Michael’s Church in Mytholmroyd (1847-1848), which was majorly affected by the Boxing Day floods of 2015. The rivers Elphin and Calder reached record heights, leaving 1.2m of water in the church and its adjacent hall, as well as causing devastation throughout the homes and businesses of Mytholmroyd. The Church still holds a relatively large congregation of between 60 and 80 people. It is difficult to imagine the heartache for those who not only lost their homes, but also their community building as a result of the flooding!
Following on from the visit to Heptonstall’s Wesleyan Methodist Chapel and Sunday school, the group made its way up to the village’s twin churches of St. Thomas. Upon arriving at the Church of St. Thomas the Apostle (1850-1854), the Churchwarden, Graham Kidd, gave us a brief context of the building.
The church is a good example of reflective and progressive approaches to architectural development. Continue reading →
The first site visit on the study tour was Hepstonstall Methodist Church (grade II*) and its neighbouring Sunday school building (unlisted but in the setting of a listed building). The church dates from 1764 and is said to be the oldest Methodist chapel in continual use (although apparently Yarm Chapel also makes this claim!). Originally the building was an interesting octagonal shape as approved by John Wesley, and used in a number of other Methodist chapels, but was extended in 1802. The Sunday school was built in 1891. Both buildings have significant condition problems. Continue reading →
Written by Eric Carter, Dan Edmunds & Sean Rawling, edited and introduced by Duncan Marks (all current York University MA in Conservation Studies students)
Reflecting recent developments in conservation, one of the running themes in the MA in Conservation Studies programme at York is the impact of climate change, and how this requires us to consider sustainability, retro-fitting, and post-disaster management of the built historic environment. Recently, too, the YCAA co-facilitated Resilient York, a successful day conference that explored ways in which York’s communities and historic buildings can be better prepared for the city’s frequent flooding.
It was therefore both timely and very much welcomed when YCAA member, Richard Storah of Storah Architecture, invited members, especially current MA students, to visit three sites in West Yorkshire’s beautiful Upper Calder Valley where he is leading restoration projects addressing different effects of climate change. Continue reading →
To complete the study tour, the second day in Edinburgh included a viewing of the Forth and its famous bridge. Having looked at the Forth Bridge construction in previous studies, I was particularly looking forward to this portion of the weekend and it certainly did not disappoint. A clear morning provided an excellent opportunity to take in the 19th-century cantilever bridge and its younger neighbours, the Forth Road Bridge, a 20th-century suspension bridge, and the Queensferry Crossing (currently under construction), a 21st-century cable-stayed bridge. The showcase of bridge technology and history from one vantage point is an impressive sight and well worth the trip. Continue reading →
While the motto of the 2016 YCAA study tour was ‘a city of contrasts’, unfortunately the weather on the opening day was relentlessly unchanging: cold, wet and very in keeping with Edinburgh’s epigram as “the windy city”. Fortunately, we were spared further exposure to the brisk Scottish weather by visiting two of Edinburgh’s most fascinating and current conservation projects in the city’s World Heritage Site domain: Riddle’s Court and the Botanic Cottage. Continue reading →
At the beginning of April, the YCAA study tour took place in the lovely old city of Edinburgh. The theme of the study tour was ‘Edinburgh, a city of contrasts: an exploration of the conservation and management issues of its two World Heritage Sites.’ As part of this tour, we were witness to Edinburgh’s two World Heritage Site (‘WHS’) – consisting of Old and New Towns and the recently-inscribed Forth Bridge – as well as local conservation projects within its city limits. Certainly, Edinburgh offers a layered appreciation of the diverse issues associated with not just a WHS but also how those concerns intersect with local and national interests and planning policy. As a student, it was truly a pleasure to see these complicated topics played out first-hand in a practical and reified way in such a prime setting. Continue reading →