Restoration Work

Harris-Jones&Son Restoration Work

We are a small family business employing heritage methods

& materials to restore period & listed buildings,

along the Surrey & Sussex border.

c.1590 Grade 11 former cow shed, Dorking.

Working closely with the Mole Valley District Council

Historic Buildings Officer we designed and built this

traditional green oak porch.

Balanced on an old stone wall, using only hammered treenails (pegs) and large dovetails with oak rails for windows. Hand split chestnut batons and small whittled oak pegs held the reclaimed peg roof tiles, all set in traditional soft lime. 

c.1450 Farmhouse weather repairs

Adding a scribed-in drip above the rail windows on this elm frame,

helped to stay the water ingress on this beautiful three storey farmhouse.

The gable was leant backwards at the top (through age) so rain found

its way down the wall face and in along the many broken joints of

ill-appointed cement that surrounded the brick panels. 

Although not original ( they were wattle and daub), the bricks

from different ages, with their varying sizes gives rise to a

pleasing pattern for the front elevation, lifted by the new lime surrounds.

The new lime mortar has also arrested the serious rot caused by water

trapped behind hard impervious cement.

New sills for the windows were needed, keeping the old oak rails,

and the unglazed windows brought up to date with tastefully

inserted glazing – not easy in a wobbly 600 year old timber frame.

The main post had rotted down its centre and needed a set of

carefully scribed, tight-fitting wood fillets.

Note; the brown tannin stains that escape from the new timber,

these are true to the day the house was built, and simply wash away with age.

Restoring windows c.1707

Often the choice of conservation officers and clients when working on listed building, saving the old windows can be preferable to replacing them – even with like for like copies. These were in a terrible state, with nasty bright white gloss clumsily slapped all over the frames (and glass), missing putty and damp sodden glazing bars that only added to the sad looking  Queen Anne cottage.

It took some time to dry them out, carefully remove the modern

coating and apply this sumptuous natural finish, matched to the sample found four layers deep when scraping back the loose flakes of paint. All sat pretty in the freshly limed brick and timber work.

When we can, we leave layers of old lead paint in place, as this keeps an uneven surface for feel and depth and the historic record in-tact. 

A firemark c.1840

From c.1710-1900, often seen on the faces of old cottages

these badges or firemarks were a sign to the private

fire services of the day that your dwelling was insured.

This one, about eight inches in diameter, from a former c.1590 bakery

in Whitley was brightly painted when new.

The mark took a lot of saving as it was part hidden by an iron bracket

bolted through it’s centre onto the timber frame,

flattening the repoussé work. 

It was replaced in it’s original position (minus the bracket)

using fine wrought nails after a gentle clean.

Heaven help you if it was obscured by smoke!

Wattle and daub

is the traditional infill between the posts and rails of old timber

frame buildings that came before bricks were used, often as replacements.

Most surviving wattle and daub panels only need small repairs,

some need total rebuilds…It all starts by digging the local clay,

which saves going to the gym.

Puddling the clay 

with water, dung and straw is a tough messy business,

yet very enjoyable for us.

The wattle

although not pretty, the hazel cut from across the brook, was woven into original positions marked in the surviving daub to the rear and follows shadows on the oak studs, thus placed just as the farmer had done 430 years earlier

when the cottage was new.

Applying the daub

Thoroughly mixed with straw and cow dung the daub

is pressed home by hand between the woven wattle.


whilst still green, angled holes are carefully made in the daub

to aid the hanging of the lime plaster…

All over

Until dry several days later.

 The plaster

local, sand and horsehair mixed with lime form the rough surface

 and bulk out the panel.

The final coat

Fine lime

matched in texture to a surviving panel above.

There are many ways, finishes and recipes for making daub,

one things for certain; they all involve a lot of hard work and, barring a bashing, will look good for another century or three, or four, or five…

c.1840 new lantern porch on a Georgian country cottage . Wormley

c. 1900 Grade 11 Replacing glazing on a Norman Shaw house. Shere

c.1590 Grade 11 cottage; complete restoration inside and out. Wotton

c.1540 Grade 11 farmhouse; revealing rot, caused by cement. Guildford

c. 1630 Grade 11 leaded oak pegged porch. Witley

c.1590 Grade 11 cottage; removal of all modern paint and cement. Abinger

c.1705 Grade 11 cottage; frame repairs, and new lime render. Leatherhead

c.1450 farmhouse; removal of cement, new lime, windows and oak repairs. Parkgate

c. 1890 Grade 11 Conservatory décor and repair. Holmbury St. Mary

Winter restoration old garden hedge, using our own grown poles and binders. Ockley

c.1590 Grade 11 bakery; extensive repairs to chimney, bricks and frame. Godalming

c.1320-1550 Grade 11 historic record. Farnham Building Preservation Trust


  • Telephone: 01306 731886
  • Mobile: 07704 646130
  • Email: info@restorationwork.co.uk
  • Instagram: harrisjonesandsonrestoration
  • Instagram: harrisjonesandsonrestoration


  • Philip Harris-Jones
  • Becky Harris-Jones




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