Weatherproofing the UK's most northerly home - House of the Northern Gate

The House of the Northern Gate is an imposing charming and dramatically sited 10-bedroom country house set in the moors of the Dunnet estate, overlooking the breath-taking Dunnet Bay.

It is located on the UK mainland’s most northerly headland and enjoys a royal connection. Following the death of King George VI, the Queen Mother stayed at the House of the Northern Gate for a short time in 1953. 

Its spectacular, coastal location comes at a price. The home is subjected to the elements meaning the building envelope needs to withstand strong winds and nearly double the average UK rainfall. The weather alternates from beautiful sunshine to Scottish Haar quickly and the air temperature rarely reaches above 15 degrees Celsius in the height of summer.

Roderick Dunnett, the owner of the House of the Northern Gate, recognised the need for a full refurbishment to safeguard the strength and integrity of its structure amid its harsh environment and was adamant that the renovation have minimal environmental impact. Dunnett, acting on the advice of Adrian Ionescu, the project manager, found that Lime Green products met the project’s needs.


Ensuring a weatherproof exterior

“The property is very exposed and subject to salt due to the coastal location. As such, a top priority for the owner of the project was to ensure the exterior of the home was robust,” says Adrian. 

“We needed to reinstate the external harling and remove all existing cement coatings to replace them with more sustainable, weather-proof materials.

“Once the external harling was removed, the underlying stonework was cleaned and repaired by applying Lime Green’s Roman Stucco and Stipple coats to prepare the surface. 

“Then, the external walls were coated with Ultra – a lime render with high insulation properties - followed by the water resistant LUX Natural Finish lime render. Both of these renders were also supplied by Lime Green.”

“All of the products were extremely easy to work with. They cure nicely, can be used in poor weather conditions and the pre-bagged nature of the products make them really easy to use on site. We simply had to mix in water and away we went! The materials also worked very well with our modern spray equipment for the larger elevations,” says Dean Hicks of Hicks Plastering.

The test of time

“I’ll be sure to use Lime Green’s products again and would 100% recommend them,” says Dean.

“The results are impressive. It will be great to see how the products stand the test of time against the tough weather conditions and salinity of Dunnet Bay.

“The exposed nature of the home means the product used needed to be extremely durable, insulating, salt resistant, weather-resistant and sustainable. I’m confident Lime Green’s products will not only insulate the home but also keep it looking good for many years to come.” 

“I will definitely be using Lime Green’s products again – including in the interior of the House of The Northern Gate where I’ll be using their Duro and Solo lime plasters,” says Adrian.

“I would definitely recommend these products to anyone looking for an easy-to-use, durable, internal or external plaster.”

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