The Russian Orthodox Cathedral, London

The Grade II listed building now known as the Russian Orthodox Cathedral was formally the Anglican Parish Church of All Saints. The original building was designed by Lewis Vulliamy and built in 1849, it was then later remodelled by Harrison Townsend in 1892. The significant interior decoration, including sgraffito, mosaic and stained glass windows, were added between 1896-1903 by Heywood Sumner, a leading figure in the international Arts & Crafts Movement. 

 

Conservation work was undertaken to the sgraffito murals and apse mosaic as a member of the Hare & Humphrey's team. Treatment included the extensive cleaning of the smoke blackened surface and consolidation of loose and friable material. Further conservation was also carried out to the stained glass windows and painted faux marble decoration.

Area of cleaned sgraffito against smoke darkened surface of surrounding untreated decoration

Sgraffito after treatment. 

Sgraffito during second phase of cleaning, to remove ingrained dirt and residues from the porous plaster surface.

Wheel window after cleaning, revealing vibrant colours previously obscured by accumulated dirt.

Mosaic above apse depicting Christ. Composed of coloured and gilt glass tiles, surrounded by two bands of mother of pear. The tiles and shells were carefully cleaned and loose and detached pieces re-affixed. 

Painted faux marble effect during cleaning, showing the contrast between original colours of the cleaned section (below) and discoloured uncleaned surface (above).