York company plays crucial role in restoring one of Scotland’s most iconic churches

Back to its glorious best… St Bride's
17 Jul 2018 @ 9.36 pm
| Business

This stunning building is back to its best – thanks to a York company.

St Bride’s Church, in East Kilbride, near Glasgow, is heralded as one of the finest examples of the post-war British modern Brutalist style and has won a series of major architectural awards.

Designed by the celebrated architect Professor Andy MacMillan, it is entirely made of bricks.

So when it came to restoring St Bride’s, they called in the award-winning York Handmade Brick Company. It supplied 12,000 specially-made bricks for the project.

Paul Stallan of Stallan-Brand, the architects in charge of the restoration, explained:

The church is built entirely of brickwork. Its structure, construction, landscape and interior are the same. Finding a brick specification and type that matched the integrity of the existing material was no easy task.

Thankfully the York Handmade Brick Company assisted us in this respect, helping us source a brick that was an exact match in every regard, a brick that was resilient in a Victorian industrial sense and had a colouration and density that ensured repairs to the building were seamless.

A great honour

Brick king David Armitage. Photograph: Giles Rocholl Photography
Mr Stallan was delighted by the standards of the brickwork supplied by the company, based at Alne, near Easingwold.

Chairman of York Handmade Brick David Armitage said:

This was a very significant commission for us and we were very honoured to undertake it. To help to restore one of Scotland’s most iconic churches, and to be praised for our work, is very humbling.

We took great care in creating exactly the right type of brick in terms of texture, density and colour to suit the Grade A-listed St Bride’s Church and Presbytery and we are delighted our new bricks fit in seamlessly with the old.

East Kilbride was Scotland’s first new town, built to tackle housing shortages after the Second World War. St Bride’s, accompanied the expansion, with a Roman Catholic place of worship that aimed to reflect the changing tides of modernism.

The York Handmade Brick Company has undertaken a number of projects in Scotland, the most notable being Dumfries House, a pioneering Scottish restoration project masterminded by the Prince of Wales.

York Handmade created 47,000 Dumfries Blend bricks for the Walled Garden and the Belvedere Folly at Dumfries House.

The quality of the bricks themselves was praised by Prince Charles at the prestigious opening ceremony, which was also attended by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

The project was won the Best Outdoor Space category in the Brick Awards, the Oscars of the brick industry, for its “magnificent achievement” in restoring the Belvedere and Queen Elizabeth Walled Garden at Dumfries House to their former glory.