36 Town Wall, Hartlepool

Sector: Domestic/Heritage

Main Contractor: R I Developments

• Lime render
• Coloured Ecomortar

The peninsula of Hartlepool, boasting a natural harbour, was an ideal location for a medieval port. During the 14th century a substantial wall was built to defend the town, making it one of the most fortified towns in England. Today only part of this limestone “Town Wall” is evident. One section in particular, that was built to enclose the harbour, is pictured on all the town’s tourist information booklets along with the historic row of houses that sit on it and now bear its name as their address.

36 Town Wall is a Grade II-listed four-storey Georgian residence situated just yards from the North Sea at the far reach of the headland. The building is completely exposed to the elements and all the existing render needed replacement.

The owner, Andi Creed-Miles – a member of The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings –had previously undertaken an award-winning restoration of a listed property so she was keen to see proper attention paid to this restoration as well. In discussion with the client and contractor and considering the extreme exposure Ornate Interiors recommended the application of a NHL5 lime render as the best option. NHL5 is a high-strength hydraulic lime render, suitable for use on buildings near the sea yet still a sympathetic choice considering the property’s traditional build. The advantage of using a lime render when combined with internal lime plastering is that these materials allow the property to breathe and accommodate the tiny movements that inevitably occur in exposed locations.

The success of rendering depends on knowledge of the substrate, the correct choice of materials and ensuring good background preparation and suction control. To avoid potential de-bonding and cracking each coat should not be richer in binder or thicker than the preceding one. The stone background was prepared and cleaned prior to the application of the first/stipple coat to a 3mm thickness.

Curing of this coat took one week before the second/ “scratch” coat could be applied to a thickness of 12mm. After a further week the third/”floating” coat was applied at a 5mm thickness. The top coat was an ochre-coloured Ecomortar, applied to a 5mm thickness. The Ecomortar, which was coloured throughout, will endure the harsh conditions and maintain its appearance much longer than a lime wash.

“I wanted proper lime rendering to the exterior and you need experts for that. I chose a firm that’s got as good a reputation as any.”
Andi Creed-Miles, Owner

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