(all by Simon Crumbleholme)

Leadwork plays a very important part in the weatherproofing of a building. Unfortunately, it is often undertaken by tradesmen without the knowledge or skill to install it correctly. Lead expands and contracts greatly with weather conditions and the correct methods of laying lead allows the material to move with temperature without stressing or fracturing the material. 

Most leadwork failures are due to overlong or too large areas being installed and with not using the correct thickness of lead for the particular application. This causes fractures and metal fatigue in the lead which over time will open up and allow rainwater to enter the building structure. Leadwork must also be laid to the correct falls and with steps to shed rainwater from the roof to rainwater gutters and downpipes.

Simon Crumbleholme uses some of his great grandfather's lead working tools !

Above :  An interesting lead roof with rolls on a curved profile in West Knighton. (December 2023).

Above : Replacement of Leadwork to a series of flat roofs in Dorchester. The lead has been laid and dressed in bays of the correct size and fall. Lead rolls are formed between the bays to give a weatherproof junction and to allow thermal movement. 

Below :  Replacement of large central lead valley gutter and cladding of inner parapet walls.

As part of major re-roofing of Hope United Reform Church, Weymouth

Above :  Start of lead cladding to inner parapet walls.

Left : Final timber layer boards being fixed in central bay.

Below left : Finished roofs and central valley leadwork.

Below right : Finished inner parapet lead cladding.

Above : Leadwork to Bay Window with central roll and abutment flashing in Weymouth

Above : Another Bay window in Weymouth. Semi circular with four rolls and abutment flashing.

Above : New lead tray to multi flued chimney stack under reconstruction.

Above : Leadwork to rebuilt chimney including tray, stepped flashings and aprons.

< Left : Before and after view of leadwork replacement to a parapet gutter in Weymouth.

Replacement of valley gutter in leadwork during re-thatching of  cottage in Winterbourne Steepleton.

Replacement of lead flat roofs and box gutters at Warmwell House, Warmwell (Listed Building)

Replacement of central lead valley in Weymouth

Above : Replacement of central lead valley to roof in Weymouth

Above :  An unusual piece of lead cladding to a new porch in West Stafford. Work was nearing completion when this shot was taken. Note the leadwork to the underside soffit.

Above : Leadwork - to new lead rolled roof with new Velux rooflights at Broadmayne

Above :  New leadwork flat to accommodate new French Window in Dorchester

Above : The Lead Ball !

This hollow lead ball (approx 150mm in diameter) was dressed from one piece of lead by Simon Crumbleholme's great grandfather William Clarke Crumbleholme (Master Plumber of Weymouth 1877 - 1973). In his retirement, he taught leadwork at Weymouth Technical College - perhaps this is where Simon gets his skill from ! His photo above (right) dates from about c1900.