Norwich church gets high-tech with drone repair work

St. Mark's Church is using drone technology to survey its tower for repair work

St. Mark's Church is using drone technology to survey its tower for repair work - Credit: Archant

St Mark's in Lakenham is proving that innovative technology and historic churches, despite their differences, really are the perfect match.

St. Mark's Church is using drone technology to survey its tower for repair work

St. Mark's Church is using drone technology to survey its tower for repair work - Credit: Archant

To inspect certain out-of-reach areas of the church's tower for repair work, St Mark's employed a drone to take aerial shots of the building. Traditionally, tools like 'cherry-pickers' have been used for surveying property. In this case, though, using a drone proved to be much simpler and cheaper.

St Mark's made a successful bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a grant to make urgent repairs to the church tower. Before work actually starts, a thorough investigation had to be made and a detailed plan drawn up by the architect.

Chris Codling of Peter Codling Architects chose to employ UK Aerial Photography Ltd to carry out the survey.

'With a cherry-picker it would be totally impossible to access the east face of the tower, whereas with a drone, you can do a complete photographic survey, and zoom in and take detailed pictures of areas of special interest,' Mr Codling said.

Peter Phillips, St Mark's PCC Treasurer, now sees a permanent place for drones in repair work of churches or historic buildings.

'I was most impressed by the whole operation. The quality of the pictures is superb, and it was all completed in an afternoon. I would recommend using a drone to any PCC which needs a survey done to their church,' he said.

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