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Blackfriars Friary, Cardiff

Conservation of a very unusual ancient monument – the remains of a medieval abbey excavated, restored and interpreted in brickwork in the C19 – set in the Grade I listed Bute Park


Catherine Woolfitt has acted as heritage advisor to Cardiff Council for the conservation the remains of Blackfriars Friary since 2010.  Conservation work was part of the HLF funded Bute Park Restoration project.  Work has included: assistance with project planning; procurement of materials samples (new and salvaged bricks); technical specification and schedules of work; and application to the statutory authority (Cadw), with supporting documentation (Maintenance Regime, Rationales for Materials Procurement and for Interpretation and Display).


The brickwork remains on the site belong to the latter half of the nineteenth century and were built directly on top of the medieval abbey masonry, interpreting the abbey plan, as it was uncovered by excavation.  The current programme of work entailed: further archaeological investigation (under a Watching Brief, by Archaeology Wales); consolidation, repair and restoration of the nineteenth century Church brickwork; consolidation of the Cloister brickwork and installation of new footpaths; and re-burial of the remains in the northern section of the site. (Main Contractor for the work: Carrek Historic Building Conservation)

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