The construction materials used in traditional farm cottages and in period homes from the same era are surprisingly similar, reveals Tom Pollard, who is to deliver a workshop on how to source and use materials to keep such buildings in better shape.

Workshop in lime and earth mortars for owners of older homes

A hands-on workshop in lime and earth mortars is being planned to assist homeowners and anyone considering a project under the vacant derelict homes scheme.

If you own a traditional building, or you are considering a project under the vacant derelict homes scheme, you may be interested in the workshop, which is taking place at a mud wall thatched cottage near Mullingar on August 3.

The workshop will be delivered by Tom Pollard, who specialises in repair to vernacular structures.

“From period homes to traditional farm cottages, the similarity of construction materials is surprising. The versatility and durability of lime and earthen based mortars and plasters is testament to their simplicity and carrying out repairs with similar materials is very important,” says Tom.

“The best way to understand these materials is to have a working knowledge of their different applications.”

Westmeath heritage officer, Melanie McQuade, who is organising the workshop, said that participants will learn how to source and use materials to keep their buildings in better shape; they will also get some hands-on training in making and using earth and lime mortars, renders and plasters.

“Attendees will also learn how to remedy previous repairs that may not have been done in the most appropriate way,” she said this week.

The workshop takes place on Saturday August 3 from 9am to 5pm.

Places are limited, and preference will be given to those who own or are planning a project on a pre-1940s structure. The workshop is being offered at a reduced rate of €80 per person.

If you’re interested in taking part in this hands-on learning day ,contact with your details, including any relevant information on your project or property.

The workshop is an action of the Westmeath Strategic Heritage Plan 2024-2030 and is funded by the Heritage Council with support from Westmeath County Council.