This was the condition of the chalk cob wall at the start of the project. It had suffered from severe damage by masonry bees and woodpeckers that feed on the young bees in their nest. The walled garden had about 80 metres of cob walling, much of which needed repair. The walling was unsightly and this damage could lead to structural problems.
Here, at the end of the cob wall, the issue was structural. The damage from the bees had contributed to a large vertical crack in the cob. The wall and plinth had been supported by masonry bricks.
The repair carried out was to use chalk cob bricks to support the crack on both sides of the wall. The crack was then pinned and filled with cob. Finally the masonry bricks were removed and the flint plinth rebuilt with further cob repairs above it.
As there was evidence of previous render, the wall was rendered with lime. This greatly improved and unified the appearance of the wall surrounding this formal garden and will deter the bees from returning.
Several hundred chalk bricks were made to complete the repair work at Salisbury.
The problem highlighted in the photo below, was that tree roots had forced two old walls apart. The tree was removed. Rather than take the brick wall down and rebuild, it was decided that minimum disruption and cost was the best way. A tile repair was completed which will show the history of the walls without damage to the fabric. The two walls were then pinned to prevent any further movement. The mortar around the tile repair will dry chalky white.