More Current Projects

Lime Hemp Plaster
Lack of insulation is a common problem with period properties and it can be difficult to maintain the historical integrity of a building whilst improving the thermal values. One solution is lime hemp plaster and we’ve found this solves many of the problems associated with older timber framed or single skin properties. We install breathable wood fibre or wood wool insulation boards which are ready to receive the lime hemp plaster. The hemp component significantly increases the thermal value of the plaster, while strengthening it and improving flexibility. The plaster and the underlying boards are completely breathable and fully approved by Conservation, so this system is ideal for listed properties. We’re currently insulating two listed properties in Henley using lime hemp plaster and the photos below show the work in progress.
In the top photo, you can see we are boosting the insulation value even further, by installing sheepswool insulation which will be held in place by the rigid wood fibre boards.

 

St Mary’s Church, Sulhampstead Abbotts
We’ve just completed a restoration project at St Mary’s Church, Sulhampstead Abbotts. Grade I listed and dating from around 1220, the church was formerly known as St Bartholomew’s but was rededicated to St Mary during the Elizabethan era, its thought as a result of the Black Death Plague.
Our work there including roof refurbishment and works to the chancel. We exposed the original chalk coin stones surrounding the stained glass windows and stripped back the layers of modern paints using Keim paint stripper. Underneath many layers of paint, we hit a shellac/varnish barrier, probably applied during the Victorian era. This coating proved resistant to the usual methods of softening shellac-based varnishes. However, after many hours of careful and painstaking work, we were successful and the church chancel has been redecorated with traditional, breathable limewash, completing the sensitive restoration of the chancel to its original beauty.

 

The Crooked House
Working alongside Windsor and Maidenhead Conservation Department, we are carrying out delicate conservation works to The Crooked House in Windsor. A local landmark, this building is steeped in history, although its sometimes difficult to separate the truth from legend. The building was originally the town's market house and dates back to 1592, although it was rebuilt in 1687. Rumour has it there was a secret tunnel from the building to the kitchens of Windsor Castle, used by Charles II to smuggle his mistress, Nell Gwynn into his chambers, but sadly, this has yet to be substantiated. Perhaps we will discover the blocked-up entrance during our restoration works!

 

St Mary the Virgin Church, Stratfield Saye
This historic church was gifted to the First Duke of Wellington, as part of the Stratfield Saye estate, following his victory at the Battle of Waterloo. We’ve just completed renovations to the interior, including fixing back loose commemorative plaster plaques. We stripped back the modern non-breathable paints, which had been causing damp issues, using recommended conservation techniques. We found some areas responded well to steam stripping and other areas were better treated with a specialist chemical stripper recommended for restoration work. We used traditional, breathable distemper to redecorate the walls.