Flint/brick repointing and consolidation, Great Yarmouth Town Wall, Ferrier Rd.
Location: Great Yarmouth Town Wall, Ferrier Road, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
Date: January 2017-Present
Activity / Result
During this project, the team had to do some major repairs, as well as consolidating and repointing of the wall located on the children's playground on Ferrier Road. The main issues found were caused by ivy damage to the wall, as well as other vegetation growth. The face of the wall had the most damage, with the mortar surrounding the flints being deteriorated by the ivy, resulting in several sections of the wall having to have the face dismantled and rebuilt. When rebuilding these areas, the team did not use some modern building methods, such as using a spirit level to make sure the wall was plumb (completely vertical) due to the wall already being slanted, this would make the area stand out in a negative way, and also could cause issues later on with overhangs. These overhangs could cause water traps, which will weaken the areas that the water is hitting, or can cause the flints above the rebuilt area to not be fully supported from below, making it unsafe still. Instead they had to use any type of straight edge and make the flints follow the line that the wall was currently using, which whilst not ideal, this will make the wall the most safe whilst using the minimal intervention required. The team, after the advice of a structural engineer, used stainless steel helibars, and glued them into the core of the wall to tie the flint face to the core, with stainless steel being chosen because it does not rust, and will have no negative effects in the future. The wall capping has also required work done on several areas due to vegetation growing on the tops of the walls, with the plants being removed if possible, and the area having weed killer applied to them to kill any roots which remain. The rebuilt areas were made using a mixture of hydraulic lime, sand and gravel, with the repointing using lime putty, as was done on the other sections of the wall.
The site was open during the Heritage Open Day 2017, allowing people to find out about the work that has been going on, as well as getting an opportunity to try it out themselves. The volunteers were taught how the use lime putty, why lime is used instead of cement, as well as learning about the different wildlife that is found inside the wall, and the effects they have on the wall.
The site was once again open during the Heritage Open Day in 2018. This again allowed people to experience doing the work themselves, using historical building materials, and have an understanding as to the work that is being done. We also had tasks aimed more towards children, such as using clay to recreate a miniature version of the wall on a map.
This is part of an ongoing, long-term project funded by the Great Yarmouth Borough Council with match-funding from Historic England.