Pargeting or Pargetting is ornamental plasterwork, traditionally created using lime plaster.
A scene from the Bayeux tapestry pargeted onto a newly built private house in Kent.
A strongly textured parget motif of ivy and roses on an old house in Suffolk.
A large blank area with no windows looked a little odd and this parget balanced the space.
A cockerel greets the dawn high in the eaves of this Tudor farmhouse
A twenty foot overmantel in a party room with a theme drawn from the Cluny Tapestries.
This photo was taken before the parget was painted yellow to match the walls.
This entrance porch to a new house in the south of France was inspired by the entrance to Chelsea Old Town Hall. The face is pargeted in high relief, the arch is a spun ellipse to follow the shape of the wrought iron gates and the depth of the arch is coffered.
Plaster conservation is an important part of my work, both conservation of ornamental plasterwork and conservation of simpler but historically important plastering. I can survey the plaster, write a report which will satisfy your conservation officer, estimate a repair cost and finally do the repair. I pride myself on clean, accurate and efficient workmanship.
The Crown House, Newport, Essex is covered in beautiful old parget which was created in 1609. Faulty guttering had rotted the oak laths which caused some of the parget to fail.
I repaired the plaster and reinstated the parget motif by referring to an old photograph.
This highly ornamental 18thC ceiling is high above a grand stairwell. It had received little attention since new so thankfully there were no unsympathetic repairs but over time it had cracked, some ornaments had detached and it was covered in grimy grease from candelabra.
I repaired the plasterwork, cleaned away the grease and painted the ceiling with traditional soft distemper.
A close studded Tudor wall in Prezzo Pizza, Maldon. was in very poor condition as can be seen in the fourth picture below. I reinstated wattle and daub, plastered it with hairy lime mortar and limewashed the surface.
Part of this name panel on an old hotel in Ely marketplace was about to fall on the heads of shoppers.
I was called in at short notice to remove and reinstate the failing area, this time with a well fixed and reliable foundation of mesh.
The price of a parget depends on
The size of the job. Lime mortar needs to be tended for several days as it sets so a large job is more efficient as I will still be working on site.
The detail in the ornamentation.
How far the work is from my home.
I charge 35 UKP an hour from my door, plus materials at cost, mileage as RAC website. For exterior pargeting this translates to about 500 pounds per square metre of freehand modelling. For a new parget on a reliable substrate I can give you a fixed price if you prefer.
I give a slide or photoshop illustrated talk on pargeting, which covers subjects like the history, types of pargeting and materials used.
Phone or email for free advice.
A parget frieze often looks good with a vine like motif and I try to make each one individual, perhaps by picking up on a motif from the history of the village, the history of the house or the people who live there. This vine frieze was inspired by a woodcarving in the local church.
This honeysuckle pattern frieze is traditional in the Yoxford area of Suffolk. I gave this new example an individual twist by pargeting on the end of each frieze a different beastie-turning-into-plantlife motif.
A small commemorative panel.
Two cottages have been joined together to make a house. The bigger cottage used to be a bakery and the smaller cottage used to be a chicken run.
I pargeted a wheatsheaf frieze to visually link the two cottages and added motifs to commemorate the history of the house.
Parget can be ideal for disguising ugly parts of a building such as here, where alterations to this house had revealed a rather unlovely concrete beam.
Unsatisfied with a career in computing, I was sitting in a pub staring at the ceiling (as one does) when I saw the light ...
The beautiful Jacobean ceiling is covered with roses and fleurs de lys and the pub is the Fox and Hounds in East Bergholt, Suffolk.
I trained as a plasterer at my local college, then gained experience of conserving old buildings with lime plaster by working for a large building conservation company. I studied on the Mastro (master craftsman) course at San Servolo, Venice, specialising in marmorino and then in 2002 I started my business creating new parget and conserving old lime plaster.
Ms Anna Kettle
Bury St Edmunds
Traditionally, pargeting was modelled in lime plaster and was highly fashionable from its introduction by Henry VIII until about 1780. Lime is much more versatile than modern gypsum plaster as it can be worked freehand in situ creating ornamentation which is individual and full of sensual curves.
From grand Tudor mansions the fashion spread to smaller houses, either as freehand modelling or as simpler scratch patterns. Delicate marmorino is the baroque Italian version and there was also an arts and crafts revival.
In Suffolk and north Essex pargeting is still a live trade though at one time it was much more widely spread around the country and York was famous for its pargeting.
HRH Prince Charles PICTURES HERE!
Norfolk County Council
Ipswich Historic Buildings Trust
East Cambridgeshire District Council
Much of my work is in private houses where my clients value their anonymity