Final day in Ethiopia Conservation Management Plans and Goodbye

12th December 2018

Day 8 of the conference concluded with Mark presenting key issues to be included in Conservation and Management Plans for historic buildings and places. Plans already in existence were reviewed and the whole group considered further work to undertake, as resources become available.

It was also a sad day leaving a country of beauty, sublime volcanic landscapes and historic buildings, people in real poverty who  still invited you in their home to share a simple meal and a great group of men and women who I enjoyed working and spending time with.

Day 6: Promoting Tourism through Conserving Heritage Conference

10th December 2018

Linked to the lime and conservation training for masons and craftspeople in Gondor, Ethiopia, Mark was also asked to speak at an associated conference for professionals. The first day concentrated on understanding building defects including damage to the fabric of ruins and standing building by water, salts, vegetation growth, insect and termite attack and timber rot and the inappropriate damaging restoration works.

The Conference was opened and closed by Traditional Ethiopian dancers who were a hard act to follow.

Day 5 Lime Training in Ethiopia

8th December 2018

Today we have built a lime kiln with basalt and daub to burn free surface limestone deposits, containing small amounts of ballast and quartz pieces within them. This is to try and replicate original historic mortars found in Gondor.

Presently hydraulic lime from much further south is used for the restoration work. We will light the kiln tomorrow with the start of a three day conference, sponsored by the EU, that we are speaking and presenting at.

Day 4 Lime Training in Ethiopia

7th December 2018

Today we were removing small areas of masonry where cracks run through the curving towers at Dawit’s Hall, 1712, The Royal enclosure, Gonder. Using a well matured feebly hydraulic lime in a mortar with only 10mm down aggregate and stainless steel 13mm square welded mesh to reinforce the new joints in the rebuilding work

Day 3 Training in Ethiopia

6th December 2018

Today we grouted localised voids in walls supported by clay and erath daub reservirs and gravity grouting larger ares, under pressure from the head achieved by the tank. In both cases the areas were flushed out with water to clean the dirt

Empress Mentewab's Kuskuam Complex

5th December 2018

The palace and complex of Empress Menetwab built 1730.  The epitome of a romantic melancholy ruin. The palace with its own ruined round church and the more modern church just outside the grounds are on the outskirts of Gonder, Ethiopia.

Day 2 of Lime Training in Ethiopia

5th December 2018

Day 2 of training and working with Ethiopian craftsmen and women at the Royal Enclosure Gondor. 

Lime Training in the Royal Compound at Gonder

4th December 2018

The Royal Enclosure, early 17th Century, Gonder, Ethiopia. I am very lucky to be working here running lime training for the next 7 days. 

Gondor in the 16th and 17th Centuries was a city of extreme brutality and extreme wealth but leaves us today the most romantic royal enclosure built of basalt.


Day 1 of Running Lime Training in Ethiopia

4th December 2018

The Royal Enclosure, early 17th Century, Gonder, Ethiopia. I am very lucky to be working here running lime training for the next 7 days. Day 1:

Conservation at Guzara Palace

3rd December 2018

Guzara Palace dating from the late sixteenth century with an excellent vantage point on volcanic slopes overlooking Lake Tana, Northern Ethiopia. The palace constructed from mass basalt walls bedded in lime and clay mortars is undergoing another round of conservation work.

Earth mortars and Northern Ethiopia

2nd December 2018

St Marys Church and Emperor Menelik’s former Capital in the Entoto Mountains. The first church and humble palace where built circa 1870, from local earth/clay and straw as cob and daub on timber. Ceilings on the underside of the rafters of split bamboo tied by leather binders with thatch above.

The large semi-circular porch overhang to the palace and the layers of lime wash on the earth mortars offering weather protection in the rainy season.

Earth mortars on timber frames are the traditional and current building technique still found over all of northern Ethiopia

Inspirational Wattle and Daub in Ethiopia

2nd December 2018

ZOMA MUSEUM is an environmentally conscious art and educational centre located in Addis Ababa Ethiopia. The concept was developed by Meskerem Assegued and co constructed with Elias Sime (artist). It’s organic, circular structure, intricately sculptured swirling wall designs draw on nature and the emergence of a butterfly from an egg, using ancient construction techniques, and charts the development of this centre from waste ground in the capital to a local, national and international centre.

I was just asked my advice on offering lime wash protection to the Clay Daub on these wonderful buildings.