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We had a wonderful morning celebrating the restoration of the Christopher Wren spire in Forest Hill. A great turnout from the local community – neighbours, friends and Year 5 pupils from the local primary school, Holy Trinity School, mince pies and festive biscuits! One of the children, Freya Joseph-Howe, cut the ribbon. Everyone had a chance to chat to the stonemasons about their work.

The spire’s been a fantastic project with so much local enthusiasm and press interest. A couple of nice pieces here and here.


We had the most spectacular afternoon on Friday at Buckingham Palace, with a hundred of HOLT’s guests gathered in the Music Room for a lecture by our Patron HRH The Duke of Gloucester. The Duke took us on a mesmerising sweep through Europe with ‘Baroque Architecture – A Fashion or Belief?’, bringing it all to life with the lightest touch. The talk was followed by a delicious and elegant tea in the Blue Drawing Room. Thank you to everyone who joined us and made it such a memorable afternoon.

Please note these photos are not for distribution.

We had a great day bringing pupils from two local schools to see the Wren Spire project in Forest Hill… We talked about the Great Fire, the remarkable Sir Christopher Wren & his rebuilding of London and St Antholin’s church in the City. The children learnt about their local philanthropist and printing pioneer Robert Harrild who rescued St Antholin’s spire after it was damaged in a storm in 1829 and brought it to his garden in Sydenham. And they talked to the stonemasons, London Stone Conservation, about their work.

We visited our project at Reliance Arcade in Brixton to see work on the faience tiles, joined by Chris Elliot, Egyptian architecture expert and our corporate supporters Mishcon de Reya.

The Aldgate Pump has just received its handmade iron lantern, replacing the original lost 100 years ago! The lantern features a low-emission light bulb designed to project the same glow as the gas flame that powered the original.


We braved the hottest day of the year so far to climb St Leonard’s Church overlooking busy Shoreditch. We stood face to (clock) face to inspect the beautifully gilded Roman numerals with Melvyn Lee, Director of Thwaites & Reed. The clock’s 18th century mechanism had long stopped working and become a pigeon nesting site – the project will be securing it for the future.



The 18th century Aldgate Pump, at the corner of Leadenhall & Fenchurch Street in the City, is being restored this summer… Work includes commissioning a handmade iron lantern, 1.5 m high, a replica of the original lost from its top some time between 1900 and 1907. The new lantern will light this celebrated corner of the City every night of the year. The London Stone Conservation team will be on site until late August.

For more information on the Pump see here.

Our 2019 Annual Conference ‘London’s Anatomy: Victorian Buildings from Top to Toe’, took a fresh look at London’s Victorian buildings. From brick to terracotta to the glass of Crystal Palace and the lettering across London’s buildings and monuments, delegates were delighted by experts across the board. John Pelton spoke about one of London’s most ambitious restoration projects, future-proofing the Palace of Westminster, and Benny O’Looney about working together to get conservation projects off the ground. Our director took us through HOLT’s range of projects and project partners.

Between talks delegates were able to see Victorian craft first hand thanks to Chapel Studio, James Hoyle & Son, and Bulmer Brick & Tile who all exhibited on the day!

Thank you to everyone who attended, delivered talks and to Native Land for sponsoring us – we hope to see you all next year!