Parochial Garden Wall Restored

By Published On: June 4th, 2024
Restored Parochial Garden Wall by PMAC

Restoring Heritage

Recently, we had the privilege of restoring a 34m long historic granite boundary wall that separates the Holy Cross Church and Parochial House from an adjacent car park. This wall, part of the curtilage of a protected structure and within an Architectural Conservation Area, demanded careful and expert attention due to its significant historical and structural importance.

Why the Restoration Was Necessary

The assessment by engineers revealed several critical issues with the wall, including large vertical cracks, degraded mortar, and unstable timber inserts. These defects posed both structural risks and aesthetic detriments:

  1. Vertical Cracking: Significant cracks were identified towards the west end of the wall, particularly evident in the Parochial Garden. These cracks had widened to over 20mm, raising concerns about the wall’s stability.
  2. Degraded Timber Inserts: Old timber inserts used for structural support had decayed, compromising the wall’s integrity.
  3. Missing and Damaged Mortar: The lime mortar had washed out in many areas, replaced by inappropriate cement repairs that further damaged the structure over time.
  4. Poor Capping: The mortar capping was in disrepair, allowing water ingress that weakened the wall and encouraged vegetation growth.
  5. Loose Render: Loose lime render posed safety hazards, potentially falling onto cars and pedestrians below.
Restoration of Parochial Garden Wall showing large cracks

 Parochial Garden Wall showing large cracks

How We Achieved the Restoration

Given the wall’s role in retaining part of the Parochial Garden and its status within a conservation area, our restoration efforts were crucial for both safety and heritage preservation.

The restoration project was carefully planned and executed, adhering to best conservation practices and utilising materials sympathetic to the original construction.

Here’s how we accomplished this complex task:

  1. Stitching Cracks with Helibar: To address the major vertical cracks, we employed Helibar, a helical stainless steel reinforcement, to stitch the wall together. This method ensured the structural integrity of the wall while being minimally invasive.
  2. Local Rebuilding: Sections of the wall, especially at the top where construction quality was poor, were carefully rebuilt using elongated granite stones that matched the original materials.
  3. Replacing Timber Inserts: The decayed timber inserts were removed and replaced with salvaged bricks and granite stones. This not only restored stability but also maintained the historical character of the wall.
  4. Renewing Mortar Capping: We replaced the deteriorated mortar capping with new lime-based mortar, essential for protecting the wall from water damage and preventing further degradation.
  5. Repointing with Lime Mortar: Local repointing was carried out using lime mortar to fill missing joints, particularly at the base and top of the wall. This process helped to stabilise the structure while allowing the wall to breathe, unlike modern cement mortars.
  6. Removing Loose Render and Ivy: Loose sections of render were carefully removed to prevent accidents. Ivy and other vegetation were eradicated to halt further structural damage and reveal the true condition of the wall.
  7. Conservation Practices: Throughout the project, all work was performed by our team of specialists trained in conservation techniques, ensuring that the restoration was in line with the guidelines for protected structures.
Skilled PMAC craftsman mending Parochial Garden Wall

Skilled PMAC craftsman mending Parochial Garden

A Successful Preservation Effort

The completion of this project not only restored the structural integrity and aesthetic appeal of the wall but also upheld the historical and cultural significance of the Church and Parochial House. By employing specialised conservation methods and materials, PMAC ensured that the wall will continue to stand as a testament to the heritage of the area.

We are proud of our team’s dedication and expertise in bringing this vital piece of history back to its former glory, reinforcing our commitment to preserving the past while building for the future.

Restored Parochial Garden Wall in Dundrum

Restored Parochial Garden Wall in Dundrum

Get in touch

Our legacy is quality projects we can be proud of. We value the inputs of our customers, our team and our supply chain in reaching positive outcomes. Health and safety to our people and the public is a priority for us and without compromise.

If you are working on a similar project we would love to hear about it. Dont hesitate to call us or send in the details of your project through our contact page at  https://pmac.ie/contact-pmac/ You will also find our FREE downloadable concrete brochure which is a helpful guide.

PMAC is a registered Heritage Contractor and a link to the site can be found below.

https://heritageregistration.ie/heritage-contractors-listing/

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