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

Indents to St Luke’s Kew

St Luke’s C of E

A beautiful Victorian church in Kew, the stunning entrance porch has suffered from both general wear and tear and a recent bit of poor reversing by car driver. Previous repairs to the round bases had pinged off over successive winters and those delicate vertical bow-keel mouldings had burst and disintegrated. The pillar on the left side had been smashed with the car and was dangerous, so I took it down.


Bath Stone Indents

I cut the worst parts of the stone mouldings off so that I could insert nice square pieces of Bath stone to resemble the existing and get a really tight fit (see below).

Along with another mason I took templates of the indents and we worked the stone off-site then returned with the new indents. I left the stones a little full so they could be trimmed and sanded on-site.

The Finished Repairs

We used Bath stone and fixed the new pieces in with epoxy resin, stainless steel dowels and lime putty mortar.

Whilst the new stone looks paler than the existing, it will weather in over time.


  What’s an indent?

In masonry an indent is a repair whereby a damaged piece of stone is cut (out usually square), and a new piece of stone is inserted as tightly as possible into the space. The new stone can be worked beforehand, when inserted or both, so it will blend in as seamlessly as possible not distract the eye.


Commonly, steps are damaged when the protruding edges (‘nosings’ in masonry) are snapped off often by scaffolding or by heavy goods or just wear and tear. Bullnoses are particularly vulnerable, as the photo below demonstrates.

I cut out the break and used a piece of Portland to insert into the step as tightly as possible.


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