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MCAST college students restore St Catherine’s chapel in Gudja


Jan 9, 2023

Basis college students following the Diploma in Masonry Heritage Expertise on the Malta Faculty of Arts, Science and Expertise (MCAST) have lately completed restoration work at St Catherine’s medieval chapel in Gudja.

The restored facade of the chapel. Photo: Jonathan BorgThe restored facade of the chapel. Photograph: Jonathan Borg

The current chapel dates again to 1631 and its construction represents typical Seventeenth-century ecclesiastic structure consisting of 1 aisle, with a barrel vault and a primary altar on the far finish. Paperwork present that one other chapel existed on the location, which dates again to about 1562.

When the parish priest requested MCAST for assist to revive the chapel, we instantly welcomed the invitation. Firstly, this chance would have allowed our college students following the Diploma in Masonry Heritage Expertise to do sensible work associated to native heritage conservation. Secondly, MCAST would even have supplied a serving to hand to the Gudja group to protect their village heritage.

The works carried out included the restoration of the roof, the exterior partitions, the chapel’s inside, changing deteriorated picket apertures and portray all apertures. Because the chapel’s roof was leaking water and developed overgrowths, the entire roof was repaired utilizing clay supplies. This allowed us to take care of its authenticity.

MCAST students working on the restoration of St Catherine’s chapel in Gudja.MCAST college students engaged on the restoration of St Catherine’s chapel in Gudja.

College students additionally changed one of many broken waterspouts. The newly put in spout, fabricated from limestone and handcrafted by the scholars, changed the outdated asbestos spout.

Throughout preliminary inspections of the location, one might see that the exterior partitions of the chapel suffered colossal harm. There was a lack of pointing on the joints, eroded stone blocks, contained delamination and there was additionally evident superficial erosion and honeycombing in some areas.

The ultimate end result showcases the scholars’ abilities, dedication and expertise

The stonework was repaired utilizing the plastic restore methodology, cement pointing and infill was eliminated, joints have been cleaned and unfastened supplies eliminated and new pointing was utilized. All steel inserts in exterior and inside partitions have been eliminated to remove additional harm to the stonework. College students skilfully changed deteriorated stone blocks within the aspect pilasters positioned on both aspect of the chapel’s doorway.

Contained in the chapel, all indifferent finishes have been scraped off. Joints have been cleaned and crammed with a mixture of hydraulic lime and sand. The 2 small picket home windows on the rear of the wall have been repaired and apertures that might not be saved have been changed and painted. On the facade, a brand new picket window was put in within the oculus to interchange the broken one.

The ultimate end result showcases the scholars’ abilities, dedication and expertise in preserving what has been left to guard by previous generations.

Being concerned within the conservation efforts of this heritage website for future generations to witness gave our lecturers and college students nice delight.

The school, via its Institute of Engineering and Transport, presents varied programs in constructing and development, starting from basis stage to diploma programs. The masonry heritage abilities programs give learners the required information and abilities in stone restoration and conservation. It presents learners the competences they should analyse and generate options regarding particular restoration interventions.

The sensible coaching is carried out in college-based workshops and laboratories in addition to on heritage websites. All through the programme, learners have the distinctive alternative to work on historic heritage websites and buildings to grasp upkeep, safety and preservation abilities in addition to apply cleansing and testing methods.

On-line functions for programs beginning in October are open till September 20. For extra info and to use, go to mcast.edu.mt.

Paul Borg is the deputy director on the Institute of Engineering and Transport, MCAST.

The restored altar. Photo: Jonathan BorgThe restored altar. Photograph: Jonathan Borg

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