Magdalen College is one of the main Oxford colleges and we have had the pleasure of returning there again this summer to work on the Longwall. Longwall dates from 1485 and is grade II* listed, built from Taynton stone and in places is not in the best condition. Inspire Conservation were approached to work on a section of the wall to start the long term commitment to restoring the stonework and consolidating the wall as it is failing due to the migration of road salts and cement pointing restoration attempts.
The lowest courses of the wall had failed in some areas back by 6 inches so there was a need to replace the lowest courses of stone and re-point the wall 100% in matched lime mortars. Taynton stone is no longer quarried so it was decided to use Clipsham stone which is the common replacement stone in the city. The original courses were profiled and the replacement stone inset to these lines which proved an interesting task as you can see from the photographs.
The lime mortar pointing was a huge success as it was achieved by recycling the original lime mortar and carefully and meticulously processing it on site to create the new aggregates for the new mortar. The finished result is a fine colour and aggregate match with a kind but suitably hard mortar which has received some high praise from the college and local residents. we undertook some mortar repairs on the wall also which are now difficult to spot, which is the way we like them!
This project was a pleasure to be part of and an interesting one for the stone masons and general labour that completed the project. A well deserved thanks to the team for achieving this one.