Edinburgh World Heritage - News Article


Conservation Update

EWH is funding projects at Rutland Square and the communal gardens at Gardner's Crescent.

Jul 20, 2012

Gardner’s Crescent
The EWH funded project to restore the communal gardens at Gardner’s Crescent has progressed well, and work has now moved on to landscaping the area. To date the retaining wall of the garden has been repaired and rebuilt, railings have been reinstalled to match the originals and new gates are being erected.

The garden is at the centre of the historic crescent, first laid out in 1822. The Friends of Gardner’s Crescent were formed in July 2006, following work to power cables underneath the garden. Now with financial backing from Edinburgh World Heritage, Scottish Power, Miller Homes and the City of Edinburgh Council, the gardens are being transformed.

The new gardens will closely follow the design shown on a plan of 1836, with a more formal arrangement of trees reflecting the architecture of the crescent.

Rutland Square
EWH has awarded a repayable grant of £6,788 for stonework repairs to 21-22 Rutland Square. The project will rebuild a gable wallhead chimney and fit new leadwork to the wallhead gutter.

The building is category A listed and was designed by John Tait c.1830 – 1840. Rutland Square was planned in 1819 by Archibald Elliot, as part of the Western expansion of the New Town. Numbers 12-22 Rutland Square are designed as a ‘palace-front’ block, with a variety of flats and houses disguised behind a single unified frontage.

A key part of the project is to remove old cement repairs, and replace it with traditional lime mortar which is more appropriate for historic buildings. In the past cement was often used as a quick and cheap repair, but it is now known that this actually causes more damage to stonework. The hard cement traps water, which leads to stonework flaking as moisture builds up. Lime mortar is breathable allowing moisture to escape, and is also capable of withstanding the natural movement of the building.

The vast majority of buildings in the World Heritage Site would have been constructed with lime mortar, so maintaining the skills in the use of this traditional material is essential to conserving the World Heritage Site.

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