Lesley Durbin: ‘Terracotta – Common Causes of Degradation’


Lesley Durbin, Emeritus ICon.
Jackfield Conservation Studio


One of the opening talks of this two-day conference, this will cover common causes of degradation in external terracotta and faïence. Terracotta became a popular building material in the later 19th Century up to the beginning of the Second World War. It has proved to be extremely durable, but one hundred and fifty years on from the early uses of the material many of our buildings are now in need of restoration, conservation and refurbishment. The talk focusses on the problems encountered through neglect, pollution, unsympathetic repairs and manufacturing faults. Whilst not delving deeply into methods of repair, this talk will set the tone for discussion over the two days in which it is hoped speakers and delegates alike will benefit from a shared exploration of the way forward for the future of this extraordinarily varied material.

Lesley Durbin would like to thank Jon Wilson, Darwen Terracotta Ltd., for use of some of his photographs.