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CONSERVATION & RESTORATION

“Passionate about our heritage; proud of our craftsmanship”

Cumbria Stone Walling is run by Paul Gingell and specialises in traditional building techniques, including: hot-mixed lime mortars, lime pointing & limewashing, solid wall repairs, dry stone construction, and stonemasonry. Fundamental to all my work is the integrity of the construction process, combining sound technical knowledge with attentive craftsmanship.

I am based in the Eden Valley, near Appleby-in-Westmorland, and undertake work throughout the Eden Valley, upper Teesdale, the northern Yorkshire Dales, Orton and the Westmorland Dales, and the eastern Lake District.

lime pointing on eroding red sandstone to control damp. Barn conversion in Eden Valley, Cumbria

↣ Lime pointing applied to badly eroded red sandstone to help control rising damp. In the longer term, with such significant erosion, flush pointing and limewashing might be advisable; synthetic ‘waterproofing’ treatments would be wholly inadvisable!

Lime Mortar Pointing

I routinely undertake repointing works, from minor, targeted repairs to whole building restorations. As well as its cosmetic value, lime pointing is often required to solve damp problem (which often necessitates removing modern cement repairs) or to protect eroding stonework, which is a common problem in the soft red sandstones of the Eden Valley.

As with all my mortar repairs, I use non-hydraulic air limes (traditionally termed ‘fat limes’) freshly made with local quicklime and carefully researched aggregates. This process is now referred as ‘hot-mixing’ and is supported by institutions such as Historic England and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. Such mortars will survive the harshest of conditions and is unparalleled in its protective qualities.

red sandstone church boundary wall repaired with hot mixed lime mortar - Eden Valley, Cumbria

↣ Victorian church boundary – attractively built in squared red sandstone rubble – repaired using hot-mixed lime mortar. Soft, authentic mortars are essential to protect this widely used soft stone.

Building Restoration & Repair

“Preserving the heritage we inherited for the enjoyment of those who follow us”

Traditional buildings rarely suffer serious structural failure without the aid of poorly-judged modern works or a lack of general maintenance. I undertake repairs that restore the natural function of solid wall structures, which invariably solves the root cause of problems. Such measures often involve reinstating lost original bedding mortars (either of earth or lime), or taking a holistic approach to solving damp in recently converted farm buildings.

I work with local, knowledgeable suppliers of traditional building materials and have a range of contacts with individuals at the forefront of historic building research. If you have a problematic building or would like a ‘second opinion’, please do get in touch. I’m always happy to advise, where I can.

↣ More information on my approach to building restoration and lime pointing.

Stonemasonry & Letter Carving

stonemasonry and letter carving - Eden Valley, Cumbria

↣ Hand-carved house sign in local Pennine sandstone.

Complimenting my building restoration services, I also offer small-scale stonemasonry repairs – including, where appropriate, dressing replacement stonework. More commonly, I deal with consolidating weathered red sandstone – for which I would normally recommend a lime sheltercoat, along with addressing any damp issues that might be causing the erosion.

For many vernacular buildings and structures the proportion of finely-worked masonry is often very limited but in prominent positions – typically sills, jambs, copings and arches. Consequently, hand-dressed stonework can make a significant difference to the appearance of new build or restoration projects, for a relatively modest outlay.

dry stone wall being constructed from traditional limestone walling stone in Crosby Ravensworth, Westmorland Dales, Eden Valley, Cumbria.

↣ Limestone dry stone wall under contruction at Crosby Ravensworth, Westmorland Dales, Cumbria.

Dry Stone Walling

Dry Stone Walling may be something of an underdog in the world of heritage conservation, but its importance in the landscape is undeniable and is a skill which I champion. As one of humankind’s oldest building techniques, the principles of dry stone construction have informed much of our vast heritage of mortared, solid wall buildings and this knowledge continues to be relevant in the fields of restoration and conservation.

I work in a wide veriety of materials – including slate, limestone, sandstone and beckstones. My work ranges from boundary walls and garden features to more technical retaining walls and high wall projects.

Thanks for visiting

Paul Gingell