Journal of Architectural Conservation

Volume 14 Number 3 November 2008


Editorial Bob Kindred

The Red Store, Lerryn, Cornwall Richard Davies

Scaffolding Historic Buildings Ed Morton

Understanding the Weathering Behaviour of Caen Stone Tim Palmer

Identifying Caen Stone for Remedial Work Tim Yates

The Historic Hammāms of Cairo Fodil Fadli and Magda Sibley 

Restoration of Outdoor Plaster Pavement Floors in a Medieval Czech Castle Zuzana Slížková & Miloš Drdácký



Read the Editorial by Bob Kindred MBE



Abstracts and author information


The Red Store, Lerryn, Cornwall

Its Adaptation Including Flood Mitigation Measures

Richard Davies


This is a small building of humble origins but in a dominant position at the centre of a picturesque riverside village in Cornwall. It had been at risk for some years before the owners declared that they wished to sell. At this point, the local community (through the parish councils for each side of the river) combined to preserve the building for general use. Despite the modest scale of the project, significant volunteer effort resulted in grant aid from a variety of sources including the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the Regional Development Fund (RDF). The building was in a state of considerable disrepair; roof failure and regular tidal flooding from the river had caused the original timbers to rot, which had led to some stone-work movement. Thus the aims were twofold: to conserve the original building, and to create a useful functional space for the benefit of the local community.

This paper describes how the Red Store was conserved and converted to a resource centre and craft workshop for community use. It includes the flood mitigation measures taken to prevent damage from regular tidal flooding and potential future climate change.


Richard Davies

Partner, MRDA Architects, Trustee of COTAC (the Conference on Training in Architectural Conservation), Vice Chairman NHTG (National Heritage Training Group. MRDA were awarded Best Scheme in the Restoration/Conversion category of Caradon District Council's Caradon Design Awards 2007


Scaffolding Historic Buildings

Ed Morton


This paper outlines some of the common issues which arise when considering the scaffolding for historic buildings. It discusses the benefits of having the scaffold pre-designed and some of the practical aspects which should be considered. The scaffolding for the Phase 2 repairs at Stowe House is provided as a case study.



Ed Morton B.Eng(Hons), C.Eng, MICE, IHBC

Ed Morton is Managing Director of The Morton Partnership Ltd, structural engineers who work extensively on historic buildings throughout the United Kingdom and abroad. Ed is Engineer to Canterbury Cathedral and is also working at York Minster on the York Minster Revealed Project. Other notable projects include Stowe House, St George's Hall, the Palace of Westminster, Wollaton Hall as well as numerous National Trust properties.


Understanding the Weathering Behaviour of Caen Stone

Tim Palmer


Microscopic study shows that Caen Stone varies in its petrographic structure between pellet-rich and bioclast-rich forms. The former is much more microporous than the latter, and tends to draw water into its structure if wetted. In historic usage, this has apparently led to more severe decay than is seen in the latter variety, which has generally displayed good durability. Examples of Caen Stone that survive on the exterior of medieval buildings have led to the material acquiring a good reputation, but less evident, poorer-quality medieval Caen Stone may also be found internally in remnant blocks, where surface decay was cut out for the insertion of new material in earlier episodes of repair. Both pellet-rich and bioclast-rich varieties are encountered in new stone available in the market, and are likely to be distinguishable in standard tests. The appended report on Caen Stone usage at the Palace of Westminster by Tim Yates which follows lends weight to this conclusion.


Tim Palmer C. Geol., FGS, Honorary Research Associate, University of Aberystwyth, and National Museums and Galleries of Wales.

Tim Palmer is a geologist who carried out research on limestones and taught in UK universities from 1970 to 2001. His current interest is in the use of limestones in medieval buildings and monuments, and the relationship between stone behaviour and petrography.


Identifying Caen Stone for Remedial Work

An Example from Cloister Court, Palace of Westminster

Tim Yates

This short case study examines the problems associated with the identification of the stone types used in the construction and repair of Cloister Court at the Palace of Westminster, London. It draws attention to the difficulties of identifying appropriate replacement stones where the structure contains both original medieval Caen Stone, as well as replacement Caen Stone and a number of other replacement limestones, and provides a practical illustration of the importance of understanding the petrography of Caen Stone as described in the paper by Tim Palmer in this volume.


Tim Yates

Tim Yates has been involved in heritage-related research for more than 30 years including both archaeological excavations and the behaviour of natural stone in the urban environment. His current interests include the sustainable refurbishment of heritage buildings.



The Historic Hammams of Cairo

Safeguarding a Vanishing Heritage

Fodil Fadli and Magda Sibley


Hammams (Islamic bathhouses) were key buildings in the Islamic city. Despite their large number and importance within the urban fabric of historic Islamic cities, they have rarely attracted much attention either from the academic community or from organizations dealing with the conservation and restoration of historic buildings. Studies of these buildings are scarce and rare. The future survival of the remaining ones is a real challenge to those concerned about the preservation of historic buildings. Based on a survey of the remaining bathhouses of Cairo, carried out by the authors in June 2007 as part of a research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), this paper describes the hammams of Cairo and highlights the lack of a strategy for their restoration. It focuses on the problems facing their safeguard; from selection and listing, to the lengthy process of restoration and the lack of expertise in restoration techniques.


Fodil Fadli is an architect and researcher. He has worked extensively on sustainable tourism architecture in the Mediterranean. His research interests focus on sustainable architecture, traditional and vernacular architecture and the restoration of heritage buildings. He is currently working on the Islamic hammams of North Africa and their survival into the twenty-first century.

Magda Sibley is a senior lecturer in Architecture. Her main interests are in world heritage Islamic cities in North Africa and the Middle East. Two building types have been the focus of her research: the courtyard house and the public bath or hammam. She has been awarded various research grants from the Arts and Humanities Research Council in the UK, and the EU to investigate hammams in Mediterranean world heritage cities.


Pavement Floors in a Medieval Czech Castle

Zuzana Slížková and Miloš Drdácký


Substantial tests and analyses of an ancient exterior plaster floor at KarlsĎtejn Castle in Bohemia have led to the design of a new material for replacing and repairing a historic mortar floor. The replacement material has a reasonably high degree of similarity and compatibility with an acceptable level of safety and reliability. The floor was cast in situ during extensive restoration works at the end of the nineteenth century and exhibits surprisingly high durability and strength. The investigation used some non-standard testing methods developed for small-size specimens. In designing the new material, attention was paid to lime mortars with hydraulic admixtures. A metakaoline-modified mortar was finally recommended as the repair and replacement material for restoring the rampart outdoor pavement of KarlsĎtejn Castle.


Miloš Drdácký, Assoc. Professor, Dipl. Eng., PhD, DrSc, IABSE, RILEM, ICOMOS

Miloš Drdácký is a research fellow and the director of the Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (ITAM AS CR). He has been actively involved in research on historic materials, architectural heritage and historic cities for more than fifteen years.

Zuzana Slížková, Dipl. Eng., PhD, ICOMOS

Zuzana Slížková is a research fellow and head of the Department of Particulate Media of ITAM AS CR. She has been involved in several major conservation projects over the past twenty years and has participated in several research projects supported by the European Commission research programmes, focusing on stone and mortar conservation and environmental issues in degradation processes.



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