Font size

Project effects

Włóki: church of St. Mary Magdalene


The church of St. Mary Magdalene in Wółki was built out of wood in log wall construction, and the bell tower was erected in post-frame construction. The church has one nave with a three-sided chancel from the east side and a square tower on the west side. The building is based on foundations made of fieldstones and a gabled and shingled roof.

The purpose of renovation and conservation works is to restore the building’s original static structure. This task was completed through strengthening of construction elements and their joints, recreation of missing elements and the correction of inclination and buckling of walls.

The scope of works:

  1. Disassembling of movable elements of the church’s décor and furnishings (the altars, the pulpit, benches – all these elements were disassembled and transported to a different place).
  2. Permanent elements of décor – the polychromy, the choir, and the pipe-organs were secured.
  3. The exterior formwork of the church was disassembled.
  4. Bricks from the walls of the vestry and the narthex were taken down, the walls are half-timbered, made of brick and concrete mortar. The brick filling was dismounted, and the wooden construction was cleaned.
  1. Quoins of the log walls were strengthened and re-jointed.
  2. Conservation of the outer walls’ surfaces was made. Firstly, the were cleaned from layers of dirt and dust. Heavily damaged fragments were removed, and then wood was strengthened with a impregnating product, big losses of wood were filled with plugs.
  3. Floors were disassembled
  4. Works to raise and strengthen the building started. A correction in the north direction was made. Top vertical inclination of the north and south walls had been 27cm. The correction which involved a bigger raise of the north wall reduced the inclination to 4cm. The north wall was raised by 47cm, and the south wall – 22cm.
  1. The foundations of the nave, the chancel and the tower had been laid on different levels, and the difference amounted to 12cm. In the nave, the chancel and the tower new foundations was made, and next an unbroken sill plate ring was laid on an equal level.
  2. When the structure was raised to the hight which allowed the correction of walls, between the sill plate ring and wall beams an empty space appeared which was filled with beams.
  3. Damaged, biological foundations of the beams were removed with chisels and structurally strengthened with an impregnating product. Bigger losses were filled with plugs placed in a pattern of horizontal strands, and smaller losses were filled with putty.
  4. All elements of the wooden construction were impregnated by a double application of the product with brushes.
  1. The south wall had shown strong buckling due to a loss of ground. By the beams of door jambs, temporary braces were placed and the buckled wall beams were gradually stretched. This procedure lasted 4 weeks. Weak bending strength of old beams posed a serious limitation to the effectiveness of this procedure. Severe buckling of wall beams between the doors and the window had been 16cm, and it successfully reduced to 8cm.
  2. Conservation works included the removal of mould which was growing in the roof beams.
  3. Timber roof trusses were cleaned from dirt and dust. Damaged biological fragments of wooden construction elements were removed with axes and chisels, losses were filled and the construction was structurally strengthened with an impregnating product. Ridge connectors were made stronger and all elements of the construction were secured with a colourless product.
  1. Floors were reconstructed, boards were end-jointed and attached to joists by a means of wood screws.
  2. The surfaces of shingles were cleaned from moss and algae. All losses of sheathing were filled, and damaged shingles replaced. Differences in colour were lost due to the use of colour-matching stains.
  3. Wooden boarding was made out of wood impregnated by soaking in water with copper compounds.
  4. Along the long walls, the ground was lowered in accordance with the downslope. Around the foundation to the eave line a stone coating was made.
The project is co-financed by European Union subsidy as a part of European Regional Development Fund