Conservation of an early 17th century lime plaster ceiling

Cliveden Conservation was invited by building surveyors Crowther Overton-Hart to survey and carry out the repair of an early 17th century lime plaster ceiling

Project overview

Project overview
Cliveden Conservation was invited by building surveyors Crowther Overton-Hart to survey and carry out the repair of an early 17th century lime plaster ceiling which had been subjected to smoke damage from a ground floor fire.

Summary of the conservation work carried out
The survey revealed that the ceiling was thickly overpainted obscuring detail and had been subject to previous poor repair. Some areas had badly delaminating plaster coats and poor attachment to the lath substrate. Little documentation of the history either of the building or the ceiling existed. Roof leakage or other damage had caused the loss of a third of the ceiling at some point in the past.

Paint and smoke stains were removed to reveal obscured decorative details. A combination of mechanical fixings and grout injection was used to secure the ceiling. Unsuitable repairs were removed and, in some cases, remodelled to blend with the surrounding original plaster. Once secured, the ceiling was decorated using claircolle and soft distemper.

Conservation methodologies were based on close scrutiny of the ceiling’s present condition and specialist analysis of both mortars and paints.

Results
The ceiling, a rare surviving example of plasterwork of this type in the county of Sussex, has been stabilised and preserved for years to come with minimal intervention and using ‘like for like’ traditional materials.

Project details

Client:

COH Surveyors

Specialist Main Contractor:

Cliveden Conservation

Category:

Advisory and material analysis | Plaster

What we did

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