SPECIALISTS IN OLD BUILDINGS
CONSULTATION • CONSERVATION • REPAIR
COB WALLS, BRICK, FLINT & STONE A SPECIALITY
This project was a delight to work on from start to finish thanks to the weather, the quiet village location and its chocolate box appeal! As with many cob cottages, it had been rendered and patched in cement which was detached from the cob in many places. The existing render was down to ground level covering what we later found was a stunning waist high flint plinth. Our work started with us delicately removing the cement render from the cob. The newly exposed plinth needed some significant lime re-pointing to bring it back to health. We experimented with mortar colours to match in with the existing mortar which worked very well. Having exposed the cob a few areas needed some cob patch repairs which we carried out using mass cob (wet cob). The walls were then ready for a three coat lime render which was later finished in a breathable paint.
We were asked to carry out an extensive brick and flint repair to a boundary wall in Enford. The wall had suffered damage as a result of a well-established ivy, which had its roots well bedded within the wall. As a result rainwater was getting into the wall and washing out the core meaning that sections of the wall were unstable. In addition most of the copings were frost damaged brickwork.
We set about repairing the wall by carefully removing the ivy roots and removing the cemented capping. As the coping bricks were a unique profile, new, handmade bricks were sourced as replacements. These were placed with a lime bedding mortar. Elsewhere on the wall we used our specialist brick and flint re-pointing skills to bring back the wall to its former glory.
Our work in Britford involved repairing a significant cob crack to the corner of a garden cob wall on the Wilton Estate. Settlement of the foundations had opened up a large crack leaving the ends of the wall unstable. In order to satisfactorily re-connect the wall, short stepped sections of the wall were carefully dismantled. Cob, being such a great sustainable material, meant we were able to re-mix the existing materials and re-build the wall in situ. This is also in keeping with our conservation principles of retaining original materials where possible. This wall has no limewash or render, just a beautiful exposed cob. We were able to replicate a weathered cob finish to blend the repair in with the existing wall. We also enjoyed shaping the wall to beautiful curved corner!
This thatched cob cottage had unfortunately been cement rendered in the past. It had also been subject to numerous coats of masonry paint. As a result the house had very damp cob walls because the moisture was unable to escape. Furthermore the perimeter of the house had been paved in concrete which covered the brick plinth below the cob. Our work therefore involved stripping all the walls of the cement render and then exposing the brick plinth. The concrete paving was removed and replaced with permeable gravel. The house was then given a new lime render and painted in a breathable paint. In doing so we put back a lot of the character of a cob building by rendering with the contours of the cob and rounding the corners, rather than the more stark, flatter, sharp cornered cement that was there before. In the process, we also discovered that many of the timber lintels had rotted through due to the high levels of moisture. Consequently we carried out timber lintel repairs and replacements in oak to match the original fabric.