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When Virtuoso Joinery was approached regarding the major renovation of an 18th Century church presbytery in Edenbridge, Kent, it was clear that strict conservation requirements would need to be met.  Looking for an authentic external finish, Paul Hemple, Managing Director at Virtuoso Joinery, had no hesitation in recommending windows and doors from Black Millwork to blend perfectly with the building’s picturesque charm.

The refurbishment of St. Lawrence’s Roman Catholic Church Presbytery required a completed overhaul of the external joinery, including 28 windows and two external doors.  Initial reports by the local conservation officer required that the joinery be repaired rather than replaced.  However, after many consultations and meetings on site, it was agreed that replacement was a more viable long-term solution – particularly as the timber had undergone significant repairs already. 

Set within a conservation area, the majority of windows were traditional double-hung box sash styles, so Virtuoso Joinery needed to work with a supplier with a wide range of shapes and styles to ensure a sensitive aesthetic match.  In addition, decorative windows at the front of the property featuring arched glazing bars also needed replacing.

Paul said: “Black Millwork has such a wide product range, from contemporary to very traditional designs, so we knew we would be able to find a solution that matched the conservation requirements of this project.  With the arched windows in particular, we needed a very specific style but Black Millwork was able to provide 18mm lamb’s tongue glazing bars that perfectly replicated the original.”

As well as providing a tasteful aesthetic finish, all of Black Millwork’s branded windows are manufactured from high quality, knot-free engineered oak and engineered Baltic pine, which have been manufactured to ensure defect-free timber that will not warp, split or shrink– ensuring longer lasting performance and peace of mind for St Lawrence’s Church.

The project commenced in January 2011 and involved extensive work throughout the building, including replacement of all the external jamb timbers at the windows and vertical tiling abutments, as well as insulating the timber-framed walls around the window openings.

Father Keen from St Lawrence’s Presbytery said: “The windows in some parts of the Presbytery were from different eras than when it was originally built in the late 18th Century. The work has returned the house to its prior state, but it’s warmer and has better sound proofing now. The general feeling from the town and myself is that the house looks a lot more presentable and pleasing to the eye.”

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