The approach to Brighton along Preston Road displays many fine Victorian villas and houses. I was asked to do some work for the owner of two semi-detached houses to restore the decorative features; the brickwork, terracotta panels and front garden wall.
I started work on the walls by removing capping slabs from the north wall and laying bricks to match the south wall. The decorative panels appeared to have been originally cast in lime mortar and over the years many layers of non breathable paints had caused this to rot and crumble so as I scraped the loose paint away I discovered that alot of restoration work would need to be done.
Finding an intact panel I created a mould to cast new panels for the north wall.
Once I had recreated the panel in casting plaster I retouched the decoration and made sure it was square before creating a strong mould for the mortar casts.
Between castings I made mortar repairs to the decayed panels on the south wall.
Twelve castings later we were ready to fix the panels to the north wall.
Restored and repainted: the finished result…