MSc in Architectural Conservation students begin work on Charing Palace and St. Andrew’s Chapel at Maidstone

Fieldtrips and work on live projects are a key aspect of the MSc in Architectural Conservation. Last week, our students started work on two facinating medieval monuments: the Archbishop’s Palace at Charing and St. Andrew’s Chapel, Boxley Abbey. The Charing Palace project marks our first collaboration with the Spitalfields Trust. During the next three months the students will carry out a detailed survey of the ‘Great Hall’ of the palace, and draft a plan for its future use and conservation. At the same time, we were very pleased to continue our collaboration with the prestigious Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB). Visiting the medieval St. Andrew’s chapel, the students were guided into the recent repairs and the conservation challenges of this fascinating site. We discussed the discrete consolidation of the building, the sourcing of local building materials (including the clay used in the roof tiles and the lime mortar – calcinated and slaked on site), and the building’s sustainable new extension.

Six of our students with Architectural Historian Heloise Palin in front of the Great Hall of Charing Palace, with the tower of the church of St. Peter and Paul in the background.
Jonathan Garlick (SPAB) explaining the recent developents in the repair of St. Andrew’s Chapel, and sharing exciting insights into the use of local natural materials.
Jonathan Garlick (SPAB) and four of our students in front of the ‘Hospitium’ (?) of Boxley Abbey, near St. Andrew’s Chapel.
The team observing the South Elevation of St. Andrew’s Chapel, and amalgam of different phases of construction from the 15th to the 19th century.