Lead has been in use since Roman times, when lead casting techniques were used to construct water pipes in various lengths and diameters. There are over 16,000 churches in England including cathedrals, chapels and ecclesiastical buildings, the majority of which have some form of lead work, from decorative rainwater heads, downpipes or large areas of plain lead sheet covering church spires.
Lead’s main features are durability and the ease with which it can be melted, cast, jointed and decorated for a variety of architectural uses. Much of our historic lead work has been lost through theft and poor repair work has affected the surviving stock. Every effort must be made to conserve what remains.
On over half the projects undertaken by Stone Edge Conservation, we are asked to complete the architectural lead work, ranging from simple abutment flashings to rain water heads; from downpipes and water cisterns to roof embellishments and even statuary decorative elements.