Paul White, director of the redevelopment of St Luke’s Church – the former Three Counties Asylum chapel – into four luxury homes, shares with us a little of what has been going on over the last month in the renovation of this listed Victorian building.

November was a frustrating month – extended delays while we waited for listed building consent for the final floor plans and certain finishes hampered progress, leaving the team filling in with smaller jobs. Approval finally arrived on Friday 3 December and we seized the opportunity to take a dusty and expensive risk – arguably one of the more controversial items approved: the shot blasting of all the internal stone corbels and hammer trusses.

Traditionally, Victorian builders would use pitch pine and then stain it to give it the appearance of a much more expensive hardwood. Part of our plan to maximise light in the building includes returning these items to their natural colour. Having tried a test area, work pressed on with some gusto and the results are stunning. We are hoping the aged timber and lovely cream sandstone will blend beautifully with the modern interiors we have planned. Meanwhile, all our precious angels have been painstakingly removed from their positions in the apse to protect them from the abrasive sand. They are in the process of being cleaned and refinished… more on those next month!