Downside Abbey Tower, Somerset

Downside Abbey Tower, Somerset
Downside Abbey Tower, Somerset

Project Overview

Repair of the copper roof of the bell tower at Downside Abbey and installation of internal mezzanine floor levels.

Ellis and Co was commissioned to repair the roof and undertake structural work to Downside Abbey’s bell tower.


A survey of the exterior masonry was conducted and masonry repairs made throughout the tower from the parapet through each of the belfry tower levels, internal and externally. We defrassed, pinned and repointed badly eroded stonework and parapet masonry. Matching Doulting stone replacements were cut and pieced in. The masonry had cracked due to historic movement and the presence of corroded steel reinforcement and rusted cramps. These were removed and the masonry repaired. A protective sheltercoat was applied to tower openings including cills, mullions and tracery. For the window spaces we created and installed new stone louvres.

New copper roofing with ventilation was fitted. Stainless steel guttering, and internal downpipes were installed.
Internally we installed a series of new floor levels.

Including padstones and an internal steel fabric structure to support new carpentry deck floors at ground level, about the tower bell, a top landing from the tower staircase, a shortened mid-landing, and a top level roof access.

The abbey was open through the works and the Great Bede bell continued to be rung in the tower daily. The work to place between February and July 2017 under instruction by Beech Tyldesley Architects.

To find out more please contact us on 01749 342706

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