Restoration terracotta

Architectural terracotta is a robust and durable building material with a surface quality that matures with age however certain circumstances exist that can compromise its performance. Lack of maintenance, challenging environmental conditions or poor building technique can lead to unit failure and cause the need for replacement.

At Priory Architectural Terracotta any existing terracotta colour can be matched, and we take pride in blending the clays and metal oxides in a manner that retains the character of the original. We can either accept the defective pieces at our workshop or visit site to take a detailed survey. This survey enables us to produce the models and moulds necessary for the statues, pediments, coping, cornice, string course, friezes, finials and chimney pots that are common in historic building construction.

By employing the same hand-crafted processes used in the original manufacture we can maintain the product’s authenticity and recreate the understated finesse of form and colour that characterise architectural terracotta buildings.

Before and after examples

  • Guildford Museum: Formed in part by the gatehouse to Guildford castle and an annex built in 1911, the Grade 2 listed museums canopy had failed due to water ingress and inappropriate back fill material. We were able to match the colour and make replacement pieces to make the entrance safe again.

  • Howard Building: Built on Bridge St in 1907 where prison reformer John Howard lived in 1777, these 4 lions were remade as part of the building’s façade retention during the multimillion-pound redevelopment of Warrington’s market area.

  • Audley End House: This grade 1 listed building is one of the finest Jacobean houses in England. Manufacturing a replacement chimney meant using our long-practiced throwing skills and hand carving a detailed rouletting wheel to mimic the originals subtle patterning.

  • Sommerville College/St Paul’s Nursery: Founded 1879 as a Women’s college Sommerville’s St Pauls annex was set up to provide nursery care for its fellows. The severe delamination of the windows terracotta meant a wholesale replacement was necessary. Working closely with the local conservation officer a palette of 5 colours was developed to replicate the originals varied pattern.