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Building Restoration, Cob Work and Lime Specialists covering Somerset & Devon


Woodlouse Conservation have undertaken a huge number of specialist building renovations and lime plastering projects from our base is in Wiveliscombe. The following pages detail some of the work we have done on many and varied projects.

We pride ourselves on our sympathetic and respectful approach. Our team of friendly, expert tradesmen draw on years of experience working with traditional building methods and restoration techniques. We are based near Taunton, Somerset, but undertake work throughout the local area including Exmoor, Shepton Mallet, Tiverton, Wellington, Bridgwater, Minehead and Devon.

Timberscombe Mill


This was an amazing and insightful project to work on. Our client was returning this old saw mill back to its former glory, with completely restored water wheel and belt powered machinery. We rendered the mill with an NHL 5 English hydraulic lime mortar due to its rather aquatic environment when the water wheel starts up in the coming years. This whole side of the mill needed to be rendered in one hit to avoid any work line appearing - an area of around 120 metres squared! Our render was complimented with five coats of limewash with a tallow additive for extreme durability.

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Whitemeadow, Exmoor


This collection of outbuildings, boundary and garden walls were in dire need for structural stabilizing and complete restoration due to detrimental ivy growth and poor maintenance. We carried out a number of extensive cob repairs, timber works and extensive traditional stone walling with local slate and matched mortars. As with most dilapidated cob work, we found many rat runs - old and new!

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Higher Kingsmead


A 1920`s dilapidated coach house and stables with rotten and failing roof timbers, missing tiles ... and a family of squirrels. We completely re-roofed the property, reusing all the original double roman clay tiles, and replaced and repaired all timber works with adequate access points for squirrels! Full structural works ensued with the replacement of the main supporting lintel with a new green oak 1/2 ton substitute, and bespoke double doors with original cast iron latch work harvested from the original pair. We also reinstated a matching purpose-made window (the location had housed a window prior to its removal and blocking up in the 1940s). With full structural works complete, a full lime render application was required, tended with a beautiful scrape & bag finish. The coach house then received full specialist decoration works.

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Stogumber Church


Just a few examples of continuing specialist works at Stogumber Parish Church. Works
include lime plastering, lime rendering, stone repairs, timber repairs and mortar & limewash analysis. More extensive works booked for 2009 - 2010.

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Hillfarrance


Due to the village being a victim of flooding before a scheme was introduced a couple of years ago, a number of the traditional properties suffered from rather serious rising damp, drawn up from the flood water and trapped within by unsuitable cement and synthetic render, plaster and paints. Due to this problem we have tackled a number of properties side by side within the village. On this house we have re-rendered the front face with a hydraulic lime mortar and undertaken extensive lime plaster works inside, as well as opening-up and restoring the original fireplace. New lime plaster works were decorated with casein distemper and heritage oil timber paints. The five sash windows, evident on the front elevation, required complete specialist carpentry and decoration works.

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Georgian Town House and 16th Century Cottage, Williton


Our clients were completely restoring these two properties inside and out. Both properties needed to have their cement render removed and two coats of lime putty render applied. The final coat was executed with a `scrape & bag` finish, followed by five coats of limewash.

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Exmoor, Somerset


These two listed outbuildings had been slowly decaying due to invasive damage from undergrowth and wildlife, and a rather shocking attempt at roofing work. The project saw complete removal of undergrowth, replacement and reuse of riven welsh slates and seasoned timbers, and stitch repairs of the drywall structure. We also introduced a gateway into the existing drywall running alongside. Our client unearthed other drywall structures that we repaired and extended with full traditional `cock & hen`capping.

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Holcombe Rogus


An early 17th century cottage, suffering from rising damp and unsuitable synthetic paints and cement based mortars. This project required careful judgment with the tending process of our new lime render due to a wide variety of build materials (cob, stone, slate, brick and block).

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