In February 2014 Artemis was commissioned to prepare a Statement of Significance and Impact Assessment for the Church of St Michael and All Angels, Highworth. The parish was proposing an extensive re-ordering of this Grade I listed church. As part of this scheme it was proposed to build a toilet block on the north side of the church on the site of the current boiler house. The proposal included creating a new doorway through the north aisle wall. As part of our research for the Statement of Significance we identified the probability of a door having previously existed and that this had possibly been blocked up when the Victorian heating system and flue from the boiler house were installed. The external stonework had been replaced and the interior of the church had been plastered.
In response to subsequent feedback from the local authority Conservation Officer, English Heritage and SPAB the parish undertook to remove a section of plaster to determine the extent of any remains and the practicality of incorporating these within the proposed scheme. The plaster was removed on 11 February 2015 and I inspected the revealed stonework the following day with Francesca Lee on behalf of JBKS Architects. We were commissioned to prepare a short report on the remains. This included a photographic record, an analysis of the surviving fabric (jambs and holywater stoop, but no arch or lintel) and presentation of research into what is known of the door from surviving drawings and plans.
The outcome was a revised scheme using the remains of the medieval doorway. This prevented harm to the historic building that would have been caused by a new doorway being cut through the wall and it preserved the surviving door jambs and holy water stoop.