Historic Mortars: Advances in Research and Practical Conservation

John J. Hughes (Editor), Jan Válek (Editor), C.J.W.P. Groot (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook editingScientific


The characterisation of mortars found in historic masonry structures, and the design of compatible repair and replacement materials, that maintain the authenticity and integrity of heritage assets, is a perennial topic in the conservation of the built cultural heritage. It is a recurring theme worthy of continued research, which the current series of Historic Mortars Conferences, begun in 2008 in Lisbon,1 was established to address. The papers contained herein were chosen from those first presented at the third Historic Mortars Conference in Glasgow in 2013. This book contains a state of the art in three thematic areas related to the place of mortar materials, in their diversity, in historic structures. This volume is a companion to the earlier “Historic Mortars:
Characterisation, Assessment and Repair” (Válek et al. 2012), related to the second Historic Mortars Conference held in Prague in 2010.
The content covers aspects of mortar characterisation, the development of new
materials, the historical contexts of mortar production and more theoretical and
experimental materials developments. A developing focus in mortar studies is that
on the occurrence, nature and conservation potential of historic hydraulic materials, such as Roman cements and early Portland cement. In part, this represents an expanding and more nuanced understanding of materials used in the past that challenges the assumptions of “best practice” of recent decades. Studies of processes or small-scale binder production sit alongside characterisation studies that bring forward increasing details of the compositions and performances of historic materials. This has relevance today, as we study materials with life cycles beyond the comprehension of most contemporary designers and builders. Hopefully, this research will shed light on the possibilities for improved sustainability derived from historically inspired materials use.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages336
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-91606-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-91604-0
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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