Cob Conservation

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One of the Trust’s major challenges is keeping on top of the never-ending maintenance and repair of the historic buildings it owns. Often we only hear about major refurbishments at larger properties, but all our historic buildings are important to our heritage. Take Union Cellars at Port Gaverne, which has recently had some extensive repairs done. This is one of two pilchard cellars – a place where the local catch was converted and stored before export to places including Italy and even the West Indies. This trade was carried out in buildings like this from the 1800’s right into the start of the 20th century by which time the North Cornwall rail link had further improved opportunities for export. (http://history.gullrock-port-gaverne.co.uk/working-pilchard-cellar.php). The rectangular buildings have an open central court and are constructed from timber, slate and cob. Cob is a traditional and very much Westcountry building material made from clay based soil, sand, straw and water (more info at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cob_(material). Steve Price a conservation builder has skillfully repaired the outer cob walls, which overtime have become damaged with exposure to the harsh coastal climate. Great to see our North Cornwall historic buildings being cared for!

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