Journal of Architectural Conservation

Volume 14 Number 1 March 2008


Editorial Elizabeth Hirst

The Listening Mirrors: A Conservation Approach to Concrete Repair Techniques  Alan Wright and Peter Kendall

Snowshill Manor: The Spirit of Place and the Visitor  Jonathan Howard

Queen’s Royal College, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad: Architectural Conservation in the Caribbean  Francis Maude

Fired Brick Conservation in the Kyrgyz Silk Roads: The Case of Burana’s Mausoleum 4  Enrico Fodde


Read the Editorial by Elizabeth Hirst


Abstracts and Author Information


The Listening Mirrors

A Conservation Approach to Concrete Repair Techniques

Alan Wright and Peter Kendall


Between the World Wars use of a concave profiled concrete surface (a sound mirror) to reflect sound waves was thought to be the answer to the early detection of aerial attack. Ultimately, this technology was superseded by radar and the experimental work on sound reflection and collection was abortive. As a result, the south and east coast of England is scattered with the remains of forgotten concrete structures. The only extant collection of these structures is at Greatstone in Kent, where three sound mirrors remain and have been listed as scheduled monuments. One of the largest projects funded by the Aggregate Levy Sustainability Fund and managed by English Heritage was concerned with stabilizing these structures and undertaking research into their repair.

This paper aims to outline the conservation approach to the project and to detail the concrete repair techniques trialled. It also highlights some pointers for the repair of twentieth-century concrete based on the advice of a master mason and a concrete repair contractor. Finally, the long-term monitoring that is in place for the carbonation inhibitors and cathodic protection systems that are installed on these structures are detailed.


Alan Wright BEng(Hons), Ceng, FIStructE, MICE, MCIOB

Alan Wright was employed by English Heritage as the overall project manager and structural engineer for the works.

Peter Kendall MA

Peter Kendall was the Inspector of Ancient Monuments responsible for the scheduled site and he was ably assisted by Tim Cromack, also of English Heritage.


Snowshill Manor

The Spirit of Place and the Visitor

Jonathan Howard


The significance of Snowshill Manor relates less to its pre-First World War architectural qualities or social history as a manor house than to the individualistic but important collection, arrangement and garden orchestrated between 1919 and 1951 by Charles Paget Wade. This paper considers how the realities of managing a historic building and collection open to the public, combined with the Trust’s changing views on the significance of Wade, have impacted on the buildings. It considers what influence the conservation of, and visitor access to, the 22,000-artefact collection have had,– and are continuing to exert, on the building fabric and context of this Cotswold manor house since the National Trust took ownership in 1951. It emphasizes how crucial it is for a body such as the National Trust to fully understand what makes a place significant and then commit to preserving these values before acquiring it. This paper only discusses the collection insofar as it has influenced changes to the building fabric Wade knew.


Jonathan Howard

Jonathan Howard completed his postgraduate degree in Historic Conservation at Oxford Brookes University while working as House Steward at Snowshill Manor. Subsequently he worked as the Building Research Assistant for the National Trust Building Department, and now is Heritage Adviser Conservation for the Otago/Southland regions for the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. He is currently writing a biography of Charles Paget Wade.


Queen’s Royal College, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad

Architectural Conservation in the Caribbean

Francis Maude


The Founder’s building at Queen’s Royal College, built between 1902 and 1904, has achieved iconic status as one of Trinidad’s most important seats of learning. The building’s deteriorating condition has prompted the Trinidadian Ministry of Works and Transport to fund the restoration of the building. The intention has been to use this project and the restoration of the President’s House nearby to increase the level of conservation skills both at a professional level and within the local construction industry. The design and construction of the building, and the local approach to project management and site supervision, have presented a number of problems which have meant that not all the project objectives have been met.


Francis Maude MA(Cantab), Dip Arch, RIBA, AABC

Francis Maude is a Senior Associate with Donald Insall Associates. He trained at Cambridge University and the Canterbury School of Architecture before joining Donald Insall Associates in 1991. He was a SPAB scholar in 1994.


Fired Brick Conservation in the Kyrgyz Silk Roads

The Case of Burana’s Mausoleum 4

Enrico Fodde


The paper outlines the materials and methods employed for the conservation of the Mausoleum 4, an excavated fired brick structure dating from the eleventh century. The ruin is located in Burana (upper Chuy valley, Kyrgyzstan), an archaeological site that played a relevant role in the development of the northern stretch of the central Asian Silk Roads. The paper discusses the experimental laboratory analyses carried out to test both historic and repair materials. It also discusses the information provided by the direct study of wall structures. A description is also given of how local experts were trained in conservation activities such as: damage assessment, analytic investigation of materials, craftsmanship, traditional skills, and intervention recording. The conservation of Burana’s heritage was part of a wider UNESCO/Japan Trust Fund project named ‘Preservation of Silk Roads Sites in the Upper Chuy Valley in Kyrgyzstan: Navikat (Krasnaya Rechka), Suyab (Ak Beshim) and Balasagyn (Burana)’. The recommendations and practical methods explained here could be of use for those conservators working in similar projects in the Middle East or Asia.


Enrico Fodde MA, PhD

Enrico Fodde is Lecturer at the BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials, Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, University of Bath (UK). He was formerly International Project Director of Moenjodaro (World Heritage Site, Pakistan), consultant to the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (UAE), and Field Director for the various UNESCO projects.

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