Building Restoration

Building Restoration & Conservation

“Building with respect for our forbears”

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

I 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. I 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 exposeed locations - Dufton, near Appleby, Cumbria.

↣ Repairing a 19th Century church wall using hot-mixed lime mortar: Eden Valley, Cumbria.

My 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

I pride myself on understanding both the construction techniques and the historical significance of the properties I work on. My hope is always to share that knowledge with our customers – a process which invariably results learning something new from every job. I see this as a core part of the development the conservation sector.

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, I’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, I’m always more than happy to help.


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 …

conservation repair to 19th Century sandstone church wall - St John's, Murton, Appleby, Cumbria

19th Century Sandstone Church Wall

This fine example of Victorian squared rubble sandstone walling was sympathetically repaired using authentic methods and materials.

treating rising damp in a red standstone solid wall using tradition lime mortar and limewash - Converted barn, Long Marton, Appleby, Cumbria

Damp in Red Sandstone building

Porous red sandstone can become vulnerable to damp when impermeable materials like cement and concrete are used in modern conversions. This project used lime to help dry out the building.

Lime Pointing

Repointing a barn conversion in lime mortar along with general maintenance of the wall fabric – Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Garden Retaining Wall

Hot-mixed lime mortars used in a Victorian garden retaining wall, as part of a garden landscaping design.

Limestone Rubble Wall

Retaining wall built with limestone rubble and hot-mixed lime mortar to compliment a barn renovation project.

Red Sandstone Lime Repointing

Lime pointing applied to eroding red sandstone and rubble barn conversion in the Eden Valley…

patch repairs using hot mixed lime render; near Appleby, Cumbria.

↣ Render repair using hot-mixed lime mortar: Eden Valley, Cumbria.

red sandstone fire surround traditionally-built using lime mortars; near Appleby, Cumbria.

↣ Previously blocked up fireplace rebuilt with new stone surround: St Bee’s sandstone, Cumbria.