William Murdock Memorial

Marble bust of William Murdock set in a pointed arch wall memorial; carved inscription painted in black

This memorial was in need of surface as well as structural treatment. The surface had a thick accumulation of a dirt and dust, a layer of black soot at the bottom of the base, red & black paint marks and round brown accretions & stains on the marble bust. Structurally, the upper part of the arch was unstable and the pointing was broken, damaged or missing in many areas.
A steam cleaner was chosen as the most suitable technique for the removal of the dirt layer from the marble as well as the stone. But first, the loose dirt and dust was removed with a brush and a vacuum cleaner. After the surface of the marble bust dried thoroughly, two layers of protective wax were applied. Cracked and broken pointing (making about 50% of all the pointing) was removed and the areas were cleaned. Those areas were then re-pointed with a mixture of Hydraulic lime and silver sand. The upper part of the arch was removed. A stainless steel dowel and the original copper dowel were used. The parts of the arch were put back in place using plaster to secure them in their positions. At the back, where the arch was leaning against the wall, a mixture of Hydraulic lime and silver sand was inserted. After drying, all joints were in-painted to make them blend in.


Parish Church of St. Mary, Handsworth

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Before treatment
After treatment