Well the Rubrics has had its shroud of scaffolding recently removed, in what must be noted as a relatively quick project turnaround of just five months. It feels like the job only started last week.
The project involved a complete rehabilitation of the exterior, ranging from reroofing, reflashing, repointing, cleaning of brickwork, replacement of decayed sandstone and terracotta elements, repair of window lintels, refurbishment of decayed windows, and restoration of rainwater goods. All the basics.
As pictured in the summer, the terrace looked grim – if nonetheless appealing.
The transformation, while fundamentally the result of conservation necessity, has greatly improved the range’s appearance.
Dating from the turn of 1700, the entire range was refaced in Victorian machine-made brick in 1894, including the addition of the distinctive brick gables and chimneystacks. Therefore little of the original fabric survives to the exterior.
The Victorian brick was cleaned and repointed with a lime mortar.
While sandstone or teracotta elements were replaced where needed.
The high rendered band of skirting at ground floor level conceals a more interesting layer. This (camera phone) picture was sneakily taken behind the scaffold when works were underway. The modern (probably cement) render was temporarily removed to reveal what appears to be original red brick dating to 1700.
It’s likely the Victorians just rendered over it, and it was later replaced in cement in the 1980s. In these conservation works, the render was removed, a wire mesh applied across the whole area of old brick, and then a lime render reapplied. Presumably the wire mesh as much protects the original brick as it provides a decent gripping substrate.