Decades of neglect resulted in the soft sandstone being weathered beyond repair. The stones were too delicate to simply re-point. We used a lime slurry which in simple terms means were smeared lime mortar over the top of the stones in order to consolidate the structure and preserve it for the future. This was then painted with 4 coats of limewash to protect it from the weather.
Ivy might look pretty in its place but that place certainly is not on the outside of stone buildings. I don’t believe there is any other plant which can do as much damage to old buildings as ivy. It is incredibly strong and difficult to deter. It grows between mortar joints and pushes stones apart. Eventually it will knock down a building if left unchecked.
You can see the stones beginning to dislodge from ivy growth and the extent of re-pointing which was needed to repair it.
This was the condition of the bread oven and fireplace when I moved into Llanthony although much cosmetic work had been done to the manor in many places the structure underneath had been left and was in desperate need of attention. We reconstructed the bread oven which had been stuffed with insulation.