Period Garden Wall Coping

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malcolm
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Joined: Wed 18th Sep, 2013 6:21 pm
Location: Bedford UK

Period Garden Wall Coping

Post by malcolm » Fri 28th Aug, 2020 5:33 pm

I'm about to start a repair to my garden wall. I think the wall dates from the early 1800s. It's built with soft reds which are spalling badly. It has more modern brick on edge capping on top at the moment which hasn't lasted well.

Image

I've maybe got a bit of a clue from some tapered brick capping on the piers still visible under the later barn. But the piers were capped a couple of bricks below the full height of the wall.

Image

Any ideas about what sort of capping might be appropriate? Conservation officer suggested half round and after looking around it does appear on a lot of the listed walls. I'm tempted to add a bit of slate under the capping to keep drips off the soft reds. In the local area bricks on edge seem to be the most common capping, but whether that is modern fashion because the top of a wall doesn't tend to last all that long, or something more historical I don't know.

Zebra
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Location: St Albans, Hertfordshire

Re: Period Garden Wall Coping

Post by Zebra » Tue 1st Sep, 2020 1:04 pm

Here are some pics of the 1920s lych gate and church wall out the back of me. (My house is in the distance in the churchyard pic). Half rounds on top of slopey ones for the lych gate, and pointy ones (I know, my knowledge of bricklaying terminology is impeccable) for the wall.....if that's any help.
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IMG_20200901_125812134_copy_652x489.jpg (184.49 KiB) Viewed 1219 times

malcolm
Posts: 1098
Joined: Wed 18th Sep, 2013 6:21 pm
Location: Bedford UK

Re: Period Garden Wall Coping

Post by malcolm » Tue 1st Sep, 2020 5:22 pm

Zebra wrote:
Tue 1st Sep, 2020 1:04 pm
Here are some pics of the 1920s lych gate and church wall out the back of me. (My house is in the distance in the churchyard pic). Half rounds on top of slopey ones for the lych gate, and pointy ones (I know, my knowledge of bricklaying terminology is impeccable) for the wall.....if that's any help.
IMG_20200901_125757842_copy_652x489.jpgIMG_20200901_125812134_copy_652x489.jpg
Thanks for the photos. I want out on a walk around the village. The oldest undisturbed coping is on a church wall and that has pointy coping in poor condition. It looks like it would have had an overhang a hundred years ago. Walking to the manor house the tall walls have been rebuilt in cement. There is a choice of half round coping with no overhang and half round coping on top of slopey bricks providing an overhang. Continuing the walk to the listed bridges and you get half round with no overhang.

Soft reds don't like no overhang. Mine are terribly spalled. The stretchers can go back up turned around but the headers are a couple of inches too short. I think my piers finished up a few bricks short of the wall height so would have been finished separately. Though I found a photo from around 1906 showing a wall (since demolished) with piers and some sort of capping so likely there was something on top overhanging a bit. My house was the one on the left and the wall is now a road.

I had a look at prices. Whatever I do it's going to be expensive. Just the half rounds will be £1500. I'm not sure I'm being sensible, but I feel that's probably a good thing. Going to check out prices for pointies wide enough not to need additional slopey bricks.

Image

Gothichome
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Re: Period Garden Wall Coping

Post by Gothichome » Tue 1st Sep, 2020 11:29 pm

Malcolm, what an interesting and quaint image, it’s my exact view of a typical English village. Were’s the pub? :D
Why is the road so wide, I will speculate when the village was developing it was long, long, long time before the automobile. Also noticed there are no board walks or side walks lining either side of the road, the local infrastructure budget was so small it wasn’t affordable.

Feltwell
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Re: Period Garden Wall Coping

Post by Feltwell » Wed 2nd Sep, 2020 7:01 am

Another option is to get a coping same width as the wall below, but bed plain roof tiles beneath it to project and give a drip away from the wall - quite common in Norfolk if memory serves me right.

malcolm
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Location: Bedford UK

Re: Period Garden Wall Coping

Post by malcolm » Wed 2nd Sep, 2020 4:59 pm

I've had a look around the other half of the village and half round seems to be the thing. Conservation officer also suggested them. It's a shame as that'll cost about £1.5k for the length of wall. Anyone know a sensibly priced supplier for half rounds and also plinth bricks?
Feltwell wrote:
Wed 2nd Sep, 2020 7:01 am
Another option is to get a coping same width as the wall below, but bed plain roof tiles beneath it to project and give a drip away from the wall - quite common in Norfolk if memory serves me right.
That makes a lot of sense. There don't seem to be any local walls that do that, but I've got a lot of tiles and it'll be the last chance for the soft reds and I want a drip edge. I think plinth bricks would look too heavy.
Gothichome wrote:
Tue 1st Sep, 2020 11:29 pm
Malcolm, what an interesting and quaint image, it’s my exact view of a typical English village. Were’s the pub? :D
Why is the road so wide, I will speculate when the village was developing it was long, long, long time before the automobile. Also noticed there are no board walks or side walks lining either side of the road, the local infrastructure budget was so small it wasn’t affordable.
It's changed a bit, mostly in the 1960s to 1980s when they knocked down all the houses on the other side of the road and replaced them with new ones set further back. The only recognisable bits are the pub and the church behind it. I have no idea why the road was so wide. I believe markets were held in a wide space just around the corner, so maybe they extended down here.

stuart45
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Joined: Wed 14th Apr, 2010 8:34 pm
Location: Somerset, England

Re: Period Garden Wall Coping

Post by stuart45 » Wed 2nd Sep, 2020 10:13 pm

Zebra wrote:
Tue 1st Sep, 2020 1:04 pm
Here are some pics of the 1920s lych gate and church wall out the back of me. (My house is in the distance in the churchyard pic). Half rounds on top of slopey ones for the lych gate, and pointy ones (I know, my knowledge of bricklaying terminology is impeccable) for the wall.....if that's any help.
IMG_20200901_125757842_copy_652x489.jpgIMG_20200901_125812134_copy_652x489.jpg
Slopey ones are plinth stretchers and pointy ones are saddlebacks.

Zebra
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Location: St Albans, Hertfordshire

Re: Period Garden Wall Coping

Post by Zebra » Thu 3rd Sep, 2020 11:47 pm

stuart45 wrote:
Wed 2nd Sep, 2020 10:13 pm
Zebra wrote:
Tue 1st Sep, 2020 1:04 pm
Here are some pics of the 1920s lych gate and church wall out the back of me. (My house is in the distance in the churchyard pic). Half rounds on top of slopey ones for the lych gate, and pointy ones (I know, my knowledge of bricklaying terminology is impeccable) for the wall.....if that's any help.
IMG_20200901_125757842_copy_652x489.jpgIMG_20200901_125812134_copy_652x489.jpg
Slopey ones are plinth stretchers and pointy ones are saddlebacks.
Ah, thank you Stuart45. Very interesting .

malcolm
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Location: Bedford UK

Re: Period Garden Wall Coping

Post by malcolm » Tue 27th Apr, 2021 2:54 pm

After a bit of time for a Kit Kat I've bought a wall worth of half round coping bricks. A little dark but nice and tough and reasonably cheap. Still debating how to make the drip edge and I thought I would see what a tile or oversailing bricks would look like. I think oversailing is neater but I would be putting a lot of faith in the angled mortar above the exposed brick edge so I'm leaning towards tiles. Any thoughts?

Actually having done a test with a hosepipe the tile dripped and the oversail didn't. There are some tile overhangs in the village but none are on old walls. The couple of properly old walls left use plinth bricks which have become expensive so most have been rebuilt with no overhangs. Most walls are modern.

I've started on the wall. It is likely to be 6 weeks bricklaying alone and I'm beginning to understand why fences are so common.

Image

a twig
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Re: Period Garden Wall Coping

Post by a twig » Tue 27th Apr, 2021 5:43 pm

6 weeks bricklaying sounds like bliss compared to my current day job... 😂

malcolm
Posts: 1098
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Location: Bedford UK

Re: Period Garden Wall Coping

Post by malcolm » Tue 27th Apr, 2021 6:17 pm

a twig wrote:
Tue 27th Apr, 2021 5:43 pm
6 weeks bricklaying sounds like bliss compared to my current day job... 😂
Come and join in with the bricklaying - it's free!

I've just been offered a day job. I'm really worried about it. But if we have more lockdowns next winter it'll make a load of sense. I guess go for it - can always resign next year.

malcolm
Posts: 1098
Joined: Wed 18th Sep, 2013 6:21 pm
Location: Bedford UK

Re: Period Garden Wall Coping

Post by malcolm » Sun 9th May, 2021 6:05 pm

Bricklaying continues slowly. The stretchers are the 200 year old originals turned around to hide the spalled side. Most have lost about 1/2 inch from spalling and they are looking surprisingly good.

I'm still fixated on coping even though I have plenty of time to get prepared. The wall is 9 inch, and for an inch overhang of tile creasing I would need 11 inch (280mm) creasing. But they only seem to make it in 265mm which gives me 18mm overhang. Would that be enough? Maybe I could cut a drip edge in with a grinder. These poorly made and badly damaged bricks have only one chance left.

Also I was wondering about the mortar fillet above the creasing tiles. Has anyone tried NHL 5 for that? It would look better but cement would probably weather in over a few years. Would that be a better choice?

Image

LadyArowana
Posts: 3247
Joined: Sat 17th Oct, 2009 1:58 pm

Re: Period Garden Wall Coping

Post by LadyArowana » Sun 9th May, 2021 8:23 pm

No idea about an answer to the questions, but the wall is looking splendid, hope the day job is ok too.

malcolm
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Joined: Wed 18th Sep, 2013 6:21 pm
Location: Bedford UK

Re: Period Garden Wall Coping

Post by malcolm » Sun 9th May, 2021 8:39 pm

Thanks, the colours in the old bricks will come out when the lime is washed off the faces. I've not had a proper day job in 20 years. I'm holding off until I have the chance to chat about it with another human being as I don't trust my own judgement.

Gothichome
Posts: 207
Joined: Sun 13th Jan, 2019 12:35 am

Re: Period Garden Wall Coping

Post by Gothichome » Sun 9th May, 2021 11:24 pm

malcolm wrote:
Sun 9th May, 2021 8:39 pm
Thanks, the colours in the old bricks will come out when the lime is washed off the faces. I've not had a proper day job in 20 years. I'm holding off until I have the chance to chat about it with another human being as I don't trust my own judgement.
:lol:
Your garden wall is looking fantastic. You’ll be the talk of the village. Well hold on, it’s a small village, every one is the talk of the town.

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