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The limewashing project at Paycocke’s House

A view of the exterior of Paycocke's House in Colchester in Essex
The exterior of Paycockes House | © National Trust Images/David Levenson

A multi-year project to externally redecorate Paycocke's House is under way, which will preserve much of the exterior elevation and timberwork. But this is far from an ordinary paint job.

Why is limewash important?

For historic buildings like Paycocke's, limewash is more breathable than other paint options, allowing any moisture in the building to escape. It consolidates the surface and is used over the timber and the lime render for any repairs. The alkaline composition of the lime also deters problematic wood-boring beetles who would love the timber in Paycocke's.

Breaking the project into phases

As much of the elevation of Paycocke's is rendered or made from timber, the project came with significant costs. As a result, the project was split into three phases in order to manage the cost and make sure the work didn’t impact on visitors.

The first phase tackled the Solar Wing, the oldest part of the house dating back to 1420, and the courtyard that’s home to the outdoor tea-room seating.

Phase two dealt with the remainder of the rear of Paycocke's, including the iconic gable, while phase three will focus on the front of the house. Each of the phases will cost between £15,000 and £20,000.

The limewashing project at Paycocke’s House

24 March 2020

Phase two is complete

The scaffolding is removed and phase two of the project is complete. The back of Paycocke’s is revealed in all its glory once again.

A couple with a young child walking outside at Paycocke's House and Garden, Colchester, Essex


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