Major Fabric Repairs with Page/Park Architects


World renowned St. Vincent Street Church, last of five iconic Victorian churches designed by Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson, is Category A-Heritage Listed.

Whilst with Page\Park Architects I completed two major heritage contracts on the church, the first to repair the tower, the second, to which this case study relates, to renew finishes to the main and side aisle roofs and carry out internal structural works.

Wood graining being applied to roof beam by specialist contractor.
Strengthened roof beams exposed inside the church nave.

Scope of Works

I recommended that the main and side aisle roofs be finished in new lead rather than with the original slate finish because of difficulty in accessing the roofs for maintenance and repairs.

As the existing exposed internal timber roof beams were deflecting scaffolding was erected to take their load and thin steel plates were fixed to the sides of the beams painted to exactly replicate the original decorative finish.

Statutory Consents

Due to the extremely sensitive nature of the works, I consulted regularly with Historic Scotland and the council at all stages of the proposals to obtain consents.


Funding came from the council and Historic Scotland.

Contract value


Start on site and completion

Started in March 2008. Completed in March 2009

Points of Special Interest

The decision to change of original roof finish required me to develop a strong case for doing so.

I developed the methodology for strengthening the timber roof beams and strategies to protect the existing significant historic fabric.

I detailed the perimeters of the main roofs to minimise change to the original appearance.

Knowledge, skills and experience gained

This challenging project required bold solutions to the serious problems encountered.

Working on it for over 10 years taught me much about Thomson’s last remaining church the construction of which was very innovative for its time.

Main roof completed with lead. Note the large box gutters.
The imposing form of the church from Pitt Street.