Luffincott church in Cornwall needed remedial work to the render on the tower. However since its exposed position above the valley of the Tamar meant that the render was under constant attack from the elements, it soon became clear that the render was in a sorrier state than had been thought. Patching and repair of the existing render was therefore an inadequate response and it was decided to remove all the old render and replace it with a different mix and using a different technique.
Originally the render had been trowelled or floated on but it was decided to "throw" the new render on and then scrape the surface with a trowel when it had achieved an initial set to get a rough, open finish. This method overcame any difficulty in getting the render to stick to the slate walls since the force of the throw compresses the mortar lessening shrinkage later on, and, since slate is not very porous there is not enough suction between stone and mortar to make using a float easy. The finished, limewashed tower should hold off the rain and wind for a good few years.
A damp south wall of the nave had new guttering fixed and internally re-plastered with lime. The whole interior was then limewashed,
Griff Rhys Jones talks to Andrew Ziminski about the Luffincott project. Thanks to BBC for this footage.