Historic floor - Codrington Lib.

Historic floor; Headington limestone, St Bees Sandstone, Black Marble; Codrington Library by Nicholas Hawksmoor, 1716-1751; All Souls College, Oxford

Extensive conservation / restoration treatment was undertaken to stabilise the floor structurally as many of the stone slabs were moving and, therefore, they were prone to breaking. The treatment was undertaken in two phases.

During the first phase all severely and moderately moving slabs were re-bedded. This involved careful removal of each slab from its location making an utmost care not to make any damage to the slab itself nor to the surrounding ones. In total 107 slabs were re-bedded. Furthermore, the most damaged pointing was round the perimeter of the library floor adjacent to the black marble border. All damaged pointing was removed and re-pointing was undertaken.

The second phase involved further stabilisation of the historic floor by re-pointing all areas of the vast library that required it.
Furthermore, some slabs were severely deteriorated and required filling. This was undertaken during this phase. Also all the pointing of all the joints were checked for stability, fragile or damaged pointing was carefully removed and all areas of missing pointing were re-pointed. During this treatment, the floor was further strengthened by allowing the lime mortar to seep underneath the slabs as there were many areas of voids that caused movement of the slabs and consequent breakages. The treatment required a lot of patience as there were many voids under the slabs and access was often only through a thin joint. However, the patience and the systematic approach of the conservation team ensured that this wonderful historic floor was structurally stabilised with great success.

Client

Codrington Library, All Souls College, Oxford

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