Best practice conservation works to Category A Listed Stranraer Museum are progressing well on site for Dumfries and Galloway Council and Historic Environment Scotland.
We have been investigating signs of distress on the building, in the form of cracks in several locations. Most of the cracks are non-structural, and have resulted from the building being covered in several layers of paint and cement render. Wrapped up tight in this impermeable skin, the building was trying to breathe. Over the years some of the paint and render has become loose, leading to moisture build up and even vegetation growth behind the paint.
W H Kirkwood Ltd’s stonemasons, Cornerstone Traditional Masonry, are attending to these areas, removing anything loose and opening the walls up let the building breathe again. Where cement render has been removed from full areas, we will replace it with lime render and a breathable mineral paint. Where the existing cement render is sound, we are not proposing to remove it because removal will likely do more damage to the stone than good.
Elsewhere, we have been using a DOFF system with paint softeners and handtools to carefully expose the beautiful ashlar on the south block east elevation. This will be the first time in nearly a century that the historic stonework and tooling will be visible for the people of Stranraer to enjoy again.