Bricklayers learn ancient stonemasonry at Old Warden church near Biggleswade

Wall was repaired by hand at listed building

Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 12:46 pm

Modern-day bricklayers at Bedford College have been learning about ancient stonemasonry skills at the Church of St Leonard in Old Warden.

Martin Fildes from Riverdale Stone of Sharnbrook, showed the trainees how to repair the exterior wall by hand.

He said: “The great thing here is that these young people are going to leave their mark on this landscape and be part of an ancient tradition of skilled masonry.”

Stonemason Martin, left, with wheelbarrow and Dean, second from right, with the trainees

Head of construction, Dean Gibson, said: “This has been a great opportunity for these trainees who are full-time Level 2 Diploma Bricklayers.

"They all have jobs already or lined up where they can quickly be earning up to £250 a day and will always be in demand. They can keep their skills updated and progress to Higher Education.

“We are grateful to Tarmac for donating the sand stone, which is a very expensive material and to the Connolly Foundation for additional funding to make this activity possible.”

The overall project at the Grade 1 listed church - which dates back to the 12th century - is part of the work between Bedford College and the Greensand Country Landscape Partnership.