We undertake consultancy work in many areas of building conservation, on projects ranging from private cottages to historic palaces. We enjoy an international reputation for the analysis of historic mortars and can determine the constituents of any mortar, plaster or render. We hold a national aggregates library and an archive of more than 5000 historic mortars . We offer a unique mortar analysis service with a particular expertise in the analysis of historic and traditional materials. Wet chemical tests can be augmented by various instrumental techniques.
Our technical consultancy services include:
Building material analysis
We offer a unique mortar analysis service and have developed analytical procedures specifically relevant to historic materials. Wet chemical tests can be augmented by various instrumental techniques. We can also undertake investigations of other building materials depending on the requirements of the project. Our analysis provides identification of constituents and proportions of historic mortars, plasters and renders and may contribute to understanding factors contributing to mortar failure for more informed conservation and repair.
We are able to design and produce suggested replacement mortars based on the results of analysis or from a provided sample. Often this may be on a 'like-for-like' basis but may be in response to failure of existing material. We can provide variations to form an exemplar panel for architects. The materials are sourced from our stocked and manufactured traditional materials: lime, sand, aggregates, additives and pozzolans.
We are available to attend site for first hand discussion, pathology diagnosis and identification of sample collection locations.
Paint and colour matching
We colour match by eye and can produce bespoke paint colours and samples in any paint type. All our paints are handmade to order using only artists' quality natural earth and mineral powder pigments.
Advice on correct specification and use
We can advise specifically on the correct use of limes and traditional decorative finishes, along with all aspects of building and heritage conservation.
We have been involved in several research projects. For instance, we have recently completed an in-depth study of archaeological samples from Nonsuch Palace (Henry VIII's most fantastical creation) and have used plaster analysis to determine the chronology of the internal re-ordering at Montacute House in Somerset, National Trust. This year we have tested samples from Stokesay Castle in Shropshire, and the Suzzallo Library and Old Capitol Building, both in Seattle, Washington.
Amongst our consultants, Peter Ellis has been involved with the conservation and repair of traditional and historic buildings for the majority of his career and Dr. Lucie Fusade has a background in architectural history and heritage science and recently completed her DPhil at the University of Oxford.
To discuss a specific building or heritage conservation project please call us or complete the contact form below.
Lime and Mortars in the Conservation and repair of Historic Buildings by Peter Ellis
Peter Ellis has been involved with the conservation and repair of traditional and historic buildings for the majority of his career. He has developed analytical procedures specifically relevant to historic materials and enjoys an international reputation for the analysis of mortars and plasters. He is a contributor to the recently revised English Heritage Practical Building Conservation series, and has been an advisor on many major projects in the UK and North America. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.
Dr. Lucie Fusade recently completed her DPhil thesis on designing and evaluating repointing lime mortars for the conservation of historic buildings in highly exposed environments. She has previously worked with English Heritage, Historic England and the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford. Lucie has recently undertaken research into the effects of the inclusion of wood ash in lime mortars and investigations into the performance of hot mixed lime mortars.
Starting as a paint maker with St Blaise and progressing to general manager, Nigel has worked at Rose of Jericho for nearly two decades. Nigel is a colour specialist able to accurately replicate a paint colour or mortar sample by eye. Prior to joining Rose of Jericho he ran a landscape gardening company looking after the grounds of several of Dorset’s historic houses.
Tom Balch oversees the running of Rose of Jericho. Having studied history at the University of Bristol he was a recipient of the VCH Young Historian of the Year. With colour, commercial and design experience gained in the print and media industries he has spent the past decade undertaking a variety of conservation projects, including a project to handmake soft mud bricks using a traditional wood fired brick clamp.