Abertarff House lies in the centre of Inverness and dating from 1593 is the oldest dwelling to remain intact in the city.  At times the townhouse of the Fraser of Lovat family, it has also been a bank and offices.  The client approached our practice to develop and deliver a package of external and internal repairs, addressing some inherent defects and undertaking cyclical repairs and maintenance.

The package of works were developed focusing on targeted repairs to defective harling, improvements to address water ingress at chimney head masonry, replacement of heavily eroded dressed stonework, lime re-pointing, and improvements to leadwork detailing at roof level.

Stone samples allowed the selection of the most appropriate replacement stone to match the original tarradale sandstone.  Lime sampling of pointing mortars were undertaken to allow the selection of a suitable lime binder colour and strength, and the choice of a suitable aggregate for colour and particle sizing.  A more robust lime mix was utilised on the exposed high-level fabric.   Repair lime harling was undertaken to areas of boss coating or where affected by salts, prior to the application of a mineral paint system across all harled surfaces.

A detailed survey of the external joinery was recorded and targeted repairs to each unit undertaken prior to redecoration, re-servicing the windows to ensure free movement of sashes, removal of excessive paint build up and repair of existing ironmongery.

The project benefitted from the support of an Inverness City Heritage Trust grant, our works ensuring the correct standards of conservation repair meeting client and funder requirements.   The project was delivered within a tight seasonal window and on budget.

Client:  The National Trust for Scotland

Main Contractor:  Harper & Allan Masonry Limited

Notable sub-contractors:  Alan Hardie Joinery (Fortrose), Kevin Park Decorators (Stirling)