An Introduction to Lime in Building + Hot Limes in Building

An Introduction to Lime in Building + Hot Limes in Building

SPAB Traditional Building Materials and Skills Courses at Coleshill, in association with the National Trust

Fully Booked
11/11/2021 - 12/11/2021
Course Type: 


Introductory, Intermediate, General Interest, CPD
Conservation Skills Centre
Coleshill Home Farm,
SN6 7PT, Coleshill, near Swindon
United Kingdom

£270 pp for both workshops

Event details

An Introduction to Lime in Building + Hot Limes in Building

11 + 12 November 2021
Conservation Skills Centre, Coleshill Home Farm (National Trust), Coleshil, near Swindon, SN6 7PT
Attend both workshops for reduced rate of £270 pp   *This package option is now fully booked and closed. 

Individual bookings for each workshop can be made online here:
An Introduction to Lime in Building, 11 November 2021 (£150 pp)
Hot Limes in Building, 12 November 2021 (£150 pp) FULLY BOOKED - please join the waiting list

An Introduction to Lime in Building
11 November 2021

This one-day course led by expert tutors is ideal for anyone new to using lime in building or keen to expand their basic understanding. Through a combination of illustrated talks and practical demonstrations, it will explain the different forms of lime available and look at a range of uses, from pointing to plastering and lime washing.    

The course will be delivered by a specifier (Marianne Suhr), conservation builder (Rob Workman) and experienced lime plasterer (Michal Wolf). The small group setting will allow plenty of opportunity for questions and discussion.   

This beginner / intermediate course will appeal to builders already working with lime and looking to extend their knowledge, or who want to begin using lime. It is also suitable for owners of period houses or other old buildings looking to develop their understanding of traditional materials, and specifiers wishing to develop or enhance their understanding of lime and its many applications.   

The SPAB is an IHBC recognised CPD provider and attendance certificates for CPD are available on request. Spaces are limited to allow for small group learning. 



Thursday, 11 November 2021
09:00   Registration 
09:30   Welcome
09:45   Introduction to lime - practical demonstrations
            - the Lime Cycle, the raw material, slaking, mixing, carbonation  
            - looking at sands  
            - understanding hydrated limes (wet and dry hydrates)
            - cold and hot mixing mortars
10:45   Break
11:00   Hands-on session
            Group A - plastering
            Group B - mixing mortars 
12:00   Hands-on session
            Group A - mixing mortars
            Group B - plastering
13:00   Lunch
13:45   Practical demonstrations
            - mixing and applying a limewash
            - hydraulic lime explained
            - demonstration of mixing hydraulic lime
15:15   Break
15:30   Case study, presented by Marianne Suhr
16:00   Plaster and render case studies, presented by Michal Wolf
16:30   Case study, presented by Rob Workman
17:00   Close



Marianne Suhr - historic buildings surveyor
Marianne is a chartered building surveyor, writer and broadcaster specialising in the repair of historic buildings. After completing a scholarship with the SPAB, she spent seven years in architectural practice. Marianne gave up her desk job to concentrate on practical building projects, whilst co- presenting three series of BBC2’s ‘Restoration’ programme. She has repaired and adapted four houses of her own, and used the experience gained to set up ‘The Old House Consultancy’. Marianne lectures extensively on building repair and runs courses for builders, homeowners and professionals. 

Michal Wolf - plasterer and conservator in lime
Michal is the founder of All Things Lime, a small but dynamic company which helps owners of traditional buildings and national charities to look after their historic buildings. Michal believes in a positive and sensible approach towards caring for historic buildings, and is also interested in traditional methods of working and keeping the craft alive by researching and using different lime plasters (such as chalk lime and hot lime). 

Rob Workman - heritage consultant
Rob has over 15 years specialist experience in the heritage construction sector - project managing conservation building works utilising traditional craft skills and appropriate materials and, more recently, as a conservation officer for South Oxfordshire and Vale White Horse District Councils. Rob now runs his own historic building and heritage planning consultancy, Lime&Listed, in South Oxfordshire.



Hot Limes in Building
12 November 2021

This one-day course led by an expert tutor is ideal for anyone with basic knowledge of lime who wants to explore the use of hot mixes in more detail. Through a combination of illustrated talks, video and demonstrations, it will provide a practical insight into hot limes and their use.

After many years producing lime mortars by first slaking putty, then mixing with sand, it is now widely accepted that mortars were traditionally mixed ‘hot’. This means slaking the sand alongside the quicklime in a single operation.  Course tutor Nigel Copsey has spent years researching the methods used for making mortars, and has many years of site based experience using hot lime mortars in the repair of historic buildings.   

The day will be a mixture of illustrated talks and demonstrations, covering slaking methods, different mixing methods, application and aftercare. Nigel will also explain the essential properties of hot lime mortars and explore the reasons for their superior performance in terms of shrinkage, durability and frost resistance.  

This intermediate course is especially relevant for builders already working with lime and looking to extend their knowledge and use of hot mixes, and to specifiers wishing to develop or enhance their understanding of hot lime and its applications. It will also appeal to anyone carrying out practical building projects who is familiar with lime but interested in learning more about hot mixes. It provides up to date information on our understanding of traditional mortars, as well as detailed practical instruction and is therefore essential for anyone working in the field. It assumes a little background knowledge of lime, and anyone completely new to the subject is recommended to attend the 'Introduction to Lime in Building’ course, taking place the day before. There will be ample opportunity to ask questions and discuss issues during both courses.     

The SPAB is an IHBC recognised CPD provider and attendance certificates for CPD are available on request.



Nigel Copsey - stonemason and building conservator
Starting out as a dry-stone waller in Cornwall, Nigel trained as stonemason and carver before working in the building conservation industry across the south and south-west of England and in the USA. Since 2001, he has worked as a building conservation consultant and practitioner in North Yorkshire. Nigel is a leading advocate for the use of traditional earth-lime and hot mixed lime mortars in historic building repair. 



Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): 
The courses will take place in a workshop. Delegates should wear suitable clothing and sturdy footwear. PPE (hi viz, goggles, gloves) and all tools and materials will be provided. Delegates are welcome to bring their own goggles and gloves if they wish. 


Please contact the SPAB before booking to discuss any special access requirements.


Traditional Building Materials and Skills Courses at Coleshill
These courses are part of an exciting new series of practical courses offered by the SPAB in association with the National Trust and held at its training centre on the beautiful Coleshill estate in Oxfordshire.  Focusing on traditional skills and materials, particularly lime, and delivered by expert tutors, these courses combine introductory talks with demonstrations and hands-on skills teaching.  With small group sizes and a practical focus, there’s plenty of time for questions and discussion with tutors and fellow participants, and opportunity to try, develop or extend craft and building skills in a workshop setting. 

Other courses in this series include:
An Introduction to Lime Plastering, 8 - 9 October 2021
An Introduction to Letter Cutting in Stone, 22 - 24 October 2021


COVID-19 Health and Safety Measures: Government COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted in England, but we recommend that all delegates bring and wear their own mask during the workshop. Hand washing stations and hand sanitiser will be available. If you have any symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19) - a new, continuous cough; high temperature; a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste - or have been in close contact with someone who has symptoms of the virus, we ask that you inform us immediately and do not attend the workshop. Our measures are subject to change in accordance with Government guidelines. 


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