In March 2012 I went to work for Claire Davies Conservation again. This time further afield in Guildford.
In Guildford Castle Gardens there are the remains of several chalk walls. Our job was to remove a huge amount of ivy which had begun to endanger the structural integrity of the walls and then make repairs before repointing with lime mortar.
This job posed a few challenges. In some places on this retaining wall the ivy had grown through the wall, and was as thick as 100mm. We could not remove all of this growth as it was now part of the structure of the wall, instead we cut it back as close as flush with the wall as possible advising the gardeners to monitor and maintain any further growth more regularly.
Another challenge we faced was the weather. Over the month that this job took to complete we experienced a combination of blazing sunshine, frosty mornings, torrential rain and hailstorms. All of this had the potential to affect the success of our lime mortar pointing and we took great care protecting and tending the applied mortar so that it would cure and perform properly.