The Chantry Chapel of St Mary the Virgin was built in 1350 when the stone bridge replaced a wooden one. It is one of only three surviving bridge chapels in the whole of England and, with the bridge, is a scheduled ancient monument and a Grade I listed building.
The original stonework can be seen at the base, although the upper part, including the west front, was rebuilt in 1847-8.
The Friends of Wakefield Chantry Chapel, established in 1990 in collaboration with the Civic Society, exist to ensure the chapel is kept in good repair and is made available to visitors. In 1995 major roof repairs were carried out, and the building was re-wired and new lighting and heating systems were installed. Recently the interior has undergone substantial reordering with the removal of pew platforms, a new stone floor and new seating. The Chantry is now under the authority of the Dean and Chapter of Wakefield Cathedral.
To support the ongoing preservation and restoration works, HMS were approached with a view to offering a solution to surface dress the carriageway section of the bridge. This has recently been permanently closed to traffic (superseded by the adjacent vehicle bridge), with the exception of church events.
HMS has worked on many listed and heritage sites over the years, so we were well-placed to offer our Decra®Stone resin bonded surface dressing, finished using a traditional blend of Amber Gold natural aggregates to soften the existing tarmac road construction, and compliment the tones of the ancient stone building materials which surround the site.
This particular system and stone finish has been specified in a number of heritage sites previously to include Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, Kensington Palace Gardens in Central London, Hyde Park, New Walk in Leicester and many others, so on this occasion Chantry Bridge is in good company.
Works were undertaken in early September 2019, with approx. 765m² of decorative surface dressing being applied over five days.