St Mary & St Michael’s Parish Church, Trumpington, Cambridge. The internal stonework in a side chapel was in a poor state, especially some lovely carved corbels below a monument. The cause was moisture in the wall – entering from outside and below, but because the lower section of the wall had been previously rendered in a hard cement, all the evaporation occurred on the surface of the soft clunch stonework, causing serious damage. This cement render came off in sheets, exposing the historic masonry construction, with previous lime renders still evident in some areas. The damaged string course and window sills around the chapel were replaced or repaired with a hot mixed lime mortar, and the walls were lime washed. The four carvings were consolidated with lime mortars and sheltercoats. The stone that was replaced was crushed to form the aggregate used in making the hot- mixed repair mortars and limewashes, ensuring a perfect colour match with the historic fabric.

The damp walls were visibly drying out during our time on site, and the permeable render that was applied further aided a far more effective form of moisture movement

rather than impeding it like the solid cement had. In doing so, the ongoing erosion to these important carvings has been halted, ensuring their longevity and appreciation by future generations.


Building limes have been used as the principal binder for mortars and plasters for thousands of years and should be the default material for the repair of traditional structures. There are different sorts of lime and different ways of preparing and using them; the selection, specification, preparation and use of lime mortars requires knowledge and skill. To raise awareness of building limes, generate discussion and share knowledge, The Building Limes Forum (BLF) was set up in 1992 to bring together a community of lime enthusiasts, practitioners, and professionals. Being a member provides access to a wide body of accumulated experience and expertise and an opportunity to share knowledge.

Lewis Proudfoot is managing director of Cliveden Conservation and committee member of the Building Limes Forum

Achieving carbon neutral status

IG Masonry Support is the first masonry support manufacturer to achieve carbon neutral status and is on its way to becoming a net zero energy company; the latest stage in IG Masonry Support’s sustainability journey. IG Masonry Support is leading the way in the Keystone Group, becoming the first company within the group as well as its sector to achieve carbon neutral status. As a Group committed to reducing the environmental

impact of all operations, other companies within Keystone are now taking the necessary steps to achieve carbon neutral status.

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