Repairing the courtyard

Calke Abbey, Midlands, courtyard repairs

Calke’s philosophy is to repair and not restore – telling the story of the dramatic decline of a country house estate. Our work in the courtyard is in keeping with this philosophy.

Repair not restore

Render is a layer of plaster applied to stonework. Over time the bond holding the render in place in the courtyard has weakened, causing the render to come away from the stone.

We are now undertaking work to strengthen the bond and ensure it doesn’t deteriorate further. This will involve pinning the existing fabric back in place and closing any gaps with traditional lime mortar to prevent water getting between the render and stonework.

There are also some areas of stone that need re-pointing. We’re using traditional lime mortar that is carefully colour matched.

Sealing cracks in the render with lime mortar
Calke Abbey, Midlands, repairing the render in the courtyard
Sealing cracks in the render with lime mortar

Thank you for your support

We expect the work in the courtyard to continue into early 2017. The house and courtyard will be open to visitors from 4 March, but there may be some scaffolding in place. We’ve also had to protect the windows by covering some of them up, so the house may be a little darker than usual.

Your visits to Calke help us to fund this vital work so we can continue to preserve this unique place.