Lime mortar, traditionally used by our ancestors to bind stone to stone in the building of bridges, lighthouses, homes and monasteries, was suddenly displaced by the arrival of cement in the early 1900’s.
On the face of it, cement had much to offer with its quickly hardening properties. Lime was cast aside.
Seventy years later and with the benefit of hindsight we see what a mistake this was, with the demise of our vernacular architecture speeded not least by the unsuitability of cement to our stone buildings.
Stone needs to move and settle within a structure. Cement once dried is too brittle to allow movement; hence cracks appear to accommodate expansion. Once cracked, moisture gets trapped within the wall and even within the stone.…”