2004, Ten tonnes of lime mortar

Ten tonnes of lime mortar

Before reconstruction of the walls could commence, it was necessary to acquire some specialist training in the art of using traditional materials and techniques. So off we went to “rock school”. When we returned the rabbits had established some new strong holds and were notably compromising our gardening efforts. Retaliation was inevitable.


Lime mortar is a type of mortar. It was used in the construction of the vast majority of brick and stone buildings worldwide from ancient times until the widespread adoption of Portland cement in the late nineteenth century. It is still used today, for the repair of such buildings and occasionally for new construction.

Most data and information about lime mortars has been via hearsay, folklore, trade knowledge and the vast number of old buildings still standing and being maintained. It has only been in the last decade that scientific and empirical testing has proven lime mortar’s durability and made it more widely known.



Lime also has certain antiseptic qualities which help protect plants and trees from parasites.





Lawn mowing season again. Arrghhh…


2004, The world’s largest radiator

The world’s largest radiator

The garden is divided internally by the gigantic ‘Hot Wall’ which runs from east to west. Measuring almost 100m in length, it required five underground furnaces to keep it warm enough to grow exotic fruits; at any time of the year.



The furnaces had been back filled and covered over many years before and their exact positions had to be located by archaeologists using geo-physics techniques. Amazingly they were in relatively good condition and the one we fired up worked a treat.