Doorway restoration

Carved Doorway


While working on another house I was called to this one, where the doorway had eroded badly and the embellishment needed replacing. However, this was just one half of the stonework and the neighbour didn’t want theirs to be worked, so we had to just replace the half.


I’d assumed the stonework would be at least partly integral with the house. Not at all: it was all ashlar – thin (50-100mm thick) slabs of stone pinned into the brickwork. Much of the mild steel pins had rusted with other damage caused by thick unbreathable paint and poor maintenance and terrible repairing with concrete.

We dismantled the existing stonework relatively quickly and installed the freshly carved new stuff.

Poorly eroded stonework

Freshly carved stone

These are the new stones for the doorway.

2 sections of string course with dog-tooth mouldings, a capital and the left hand arch stone


We made a forma or support to take the arch out and reinstate the new. It was very rudimentary but was fine for our needs. 

All the stones were pinned into the brickwork with stainless steel and epoxy resin and then all pointed with lime mortar.

Beautiful Cylindrical Bay Restoration

Cylindrical Bay

Cylindrical Bay RESTORED

This is Victorian stonework at it’s finest: cigarette paper-thin joints,, perfect mouldings and beautiful craftsmanship throughout. However, on closer inspection the stonework was in a pretty frightful state. 2 of the large window sills on the first storey had eroded and cracked.

The underside of the eroded sills

Poor repairs to a structural pillar – shoddy and dangerous

At the top of the picture you can see the erosion of the stone

The Restoration

We worked 2 new sills and numerous indents throughout the building. It was quite a labour-intensive project, but very enjoyable.

Indents – square spaces made for accurate replacement with new stone

Indent to the cracked pillar

New section of pillar in limestone

New sill to the right and various indents throughout the architecture

Chingford Station Road Restoration

Square Bay, Octagonal Bay

Station Road FINISHED

A really unusual design where the bay is square on the ground storey and octagonal on the first floor. The stone had eroded much more on the left hand side for some reason. The owners had started the process by stripping paint but with busy lives it had become too much so I was called in.

Most of the stone was in good shape but some needed replacing, especially the first storey sills and the copings- in fact, any ledges which had taken the worst of the weather over the last 130 years.

Original worn bases

This coping has completely disintegrated

New Bath Stone elements

New stone was worked to replace the worn and bedded using lime mortar. The stone had discoloured with several layers of paint and a variety of compounds used to fill and ‘repair’ it over the years. I persuaded the clients to use a sheltercoat rather than paint. A sheltercoat is a traditional sacrificial coat comprised of slaked lime, stone dust, sand and milk (!). The mild reacts with the lime and forms a protective coating that binds to the stone but allows it to breathe. It also has the advantage that it is the same colour as the stone and makes it uniform. It is not opaque like paint however, but is a more sympathetic and restorative solution.

New stone indents on the column bases

Lintels have been stripped and are awaiting the sheltercoat

New string course retrun

Lintels having been sheltercoated

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