The conservation of stone is one of the most complex and challenging areas in architectural conservation, involving a detailed understanding of a wide range of materials, how they respond to weathering, how they interact with other historic building materials and interventions over time, and the repercussions of maintaining, cleaning and conserving architectural and archaeological building fabric. Ireland has a particularly rich heritage of building with local stone. Historic buildings and archaeological monuments may be constructed from a wide range of stone types including limestones, sandstones, conglomerates, granites and other igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rock types.
Detailed knowledge of Irish building stone has been developed since 1997 through desktop research, fieldwork and laboratory analyses. Analytical services to advise on the weathering, conservation and repair of stone include:
- Characterisation of Stone
- Diagnosis of Weathering and any other Deterioration
- Identification of Type and Impact of Soiling Deposits
- Sourcing of Suitable Replacement Stone
- Testing & Comparison of Conservation Treatments
- Overseeing & Monitoring Cleaning & Conservation
- Design of Replacement Mortars for Stone Conservation
- Recommendations for Conservation, Cleaning & Repair and Preparation of Specifications
- Pavia, S. & Bolton, J. (2001) Stone Monuments Decay Study 2000: Assessment of the degree of erosion and degradation of stone monuments in the Republic of Ireland. The Heritage Council.
- Pavia, S. & Bolton, J. (2000) Stone Brick and Mortar: Historical Use, Decay and Conservation of Building Materials in Ireland. Wordwell.
- Stone Monuments Decay Study 2010 (unpublished research project)
- Potential Impacts of Climate Change on the Decay & Soiling of Irish Building Stone (unpublished research project)