Conservation Work at Sawley Abbey

As the new Sawley Hall is going up not so far away, English Heritage is continuing its much more modest conservation activities at the Abbey. Here, the ancient walls have mostly lost their outer layers leaving very soft crumbly masonry exposed to the elements. The conservators are carefully re-pointing in soft lime mortar and using soft-topping (or soft capping), with a layer of turf, on top of the walls. This is a way of slowing down water penetration into the wall and holding the friable material in place. Soft-topping, can also look very attractive and bring the ruins closer to nature. The Pendle Heritage conservation group is contemplating the technique on some ruined walls in Wycoller.

The top of the wall is consolidated with lime mortar just below the turf capping (soft-topping).
This wall has been comprehensively pointed and plastered with lime mortar below the turf capping.


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