Building Restoration

Building Restoration & Conservation

“Building with respect for our forebears”

Modern buildings are generally constructed from high strength materials, with monolithic foundations designed to resist natural ground movements; older, stone built buildings differ almost entirely from these principles, and attempting to repair these buildings to modern standards can often lead to fundamental problems.

As a society, our understanding of traditional building materials declined substantially during the twentieth century. In recent years, there has been growing interest in these techniques, thanks largely to the enquiring minds of skilled craftspeople and the collaboration of state and charitable organisations. At Cumbria Stone Walling, I strive to be at the forefront of this revival.

derelict traditional field barn with damaged roof and in need of restoration, in the extended Yorkshire Dales national park, Cumbria.

↣ Traditional field barn surveyed as part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park’s ‘Every Barn’ project – Potts Valley, near Little Asby.

Our Services

We provide expertise in lime pointing, historic earth and lime mortars, and the maintenance of solid wall structures found in historic properties, field barns and many garden walls. We also provide stonemasonry services for the replacement of damaged stonework; as well as techniques for the consolidation of eroded stones, as often seen in areas with soft sandstone buildings.

reconstruction of barn wall to test use of hot-mixed lime mortar in exposed locations - Dufton, near Appleby, Cumbria.

↣ Testing the use of traditional lime mortar, made using quicklime and reclaimed aggregates from within the existing wall, Eden Valley, Cumbria.

Our passion for old buildings and commitment to the revival of traditional building techniques ensures that, as a customer, you’ll receive a first-class service tailored specifically to the needs of your property.

Knowledge Base

We pride ourselves on understanding both the construction techniques and the historical significance of the properties we work on. Our hope is always to share that knowledge with our customers – a process which invariably results us learning something new from every job. We see this as a core part of our development as craftspeople.

cross-section view of historic hot-mixed lime mortar showing aggregates and high lime ratio

↣ Historic hot-mixed lime mortar showing high lime content. The crudely sorted larger aggregates, though minor in proportion, are also important.

With this in mind, we’ve produced a range of resources explaining some of the principles of traditional building techniques. If you have any questions about how these might relate to your property, we’re always more than happy to help.

Projects

surveying the condition and state of repair of traditional field barns in the Yorkshire dales

Yorkshire Dales Barn Surveys

Estimates suggest that around a third of the Yorkshire Dales’ iconic field barns have been lost or substantially ruined, whilst those that remain face an uncertain future. Working on …