Top 12 Interesting Lime Buildings and Structures

Top 12 interesting lime buildings and structures

The UK is abundant with beautiful buildings made using lime materials.

From plasters, to mortars,to insulating renders, lime has various uses in construction.

Here are our favourite 12 UK buildings and structures which were constructed using lime materials:


  1. The WISE building

The Centre for Alternative Technology’s Wales Institute for Sustainable Education (WISE) building is a state-of-the-art, educational facility which was designed to have little environmental impacts in both construction and use.

The Machynlleth, Powys, Wales building was sustainably constructed in June 2010 using eco-friendly building materials. As a result, the use of cement was avoided and walls were built using sand lime (calcium silicate) bricks.

In 2010, Lime Green formulated and supplied the centre with over 300m3 of limecrete and lime mortar to support the innovative walls.  


  1. The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct carries the Llangollen Canal across the River Dee in the Vale of Llangollen, north east Wales. Construction began in 1795 and it was officially open for traffic in late 1805.

The 18-arched, grade 1, listed structure is a world heritage site due to its interesting history and impressive form. The stones comprising the aqueduct are bound together with a mix of lime, water and ox blood.

In 2010, Lime Green supplied repointing mortars to secure the aqueduct, enabling it to stand the test of time for many years to come.


  1. Eddystone Lighthouse

The Eddystone Lighthouse stands on Eddystone Rocks, nine miles from Rame Head, South East Cornwall. The interior of the lighthouse uses limestone masonry. The rocks supporting the lighthouse are submerged below sea level.

The first lighthouse on the site was completed in 1699, however, the current structure is the fourth to be built and has remained since 1882. The strength of the structure is very impressive, with it being able to withstand even the worst of storms, even after being moved, block by block, in the 19th century.

The architect of the third tower, Smeaton, is commonly known as the ‘re-inventor’ of lime, as he pioneered hydraulic lime – a lime that cures under water. The Smeaton tower was later preserved and rebuilt on land, which is highly impressive.


  1. Wroxeter Roman City

Wroxeter Roman City is a fantastic example of a lime building with an incredibly rich history.

The lime mortar used in the Wroxeter-based structure is over 2000 years old. The durability of the masonry is seriously impressive and goes to show how lime endures.


  1. Langley Chapel

Langley Chapel stands proud near Acton Burnell, Shropshire. The chapel has remained relatively unchanged for over 400 years and uses lime mortar throughout.

The impressive and interesting element of Langley Chapel is the feeling of being able to step back in time, as the chapel is currently disused and has been for some time.


  1. Heath Chapel

Similar to Langley Chapel, Heath Chapel has aged gracefully.  It has remained relatively unchanged due to its robust lime structure.

Heath Chapel stands in Heath, in the Clee Hills of Shropshire. The exact construction date of the chapel remains unknown but it is widely believed it was built in the mid-1100s.

Heath Chapel stands as an example of Norman architecture and may be one of the last of its kind, as many similar churches have likely disappeared or been rebuilt, leaving behind little trace of the original structure.


  1. Yarpole Bell Tower at St Leonards Church

The Yarpole Bell Tower at St Leonards Church in Herefordshire is a detached bell tower which uses lime materials in the base of its structure.

The tower is believed to have been built in the late 1100s, making it around 900 years old. The secret to the bell tower’s resilience is partly due to its robust limestone base and breathable, relatively flexible, lime construction.

This separate building continues to be a notable feature of St Leonards Church.


  1. Conwy Castle

Conwy Castle stands in Conwy, North Wales. It was constructed by Edward I during the conquest of Wales.

The castle sits on a coastal ridge of limestone and grey sandstone. Much of the material of the castle was taken from the ridge itself. Even by today’s standards, the scale and speed of construction is very impressive.

The logistics needed to create the impressive castle and walled town in 16 years would have been incredibly taxing, including the movement of the vast amount of lime and stone used within the structure. The exterior of the castle was originally whitewashed using lime.


  1. Lavenham Guildhall

Lavenham Guildhall is a grade 1, listed building, standing in Lavenham, Suffolk. It is assumed to have been built in around 1530.

The combination of wood and lime work in harmony to contribute to a strong and robust structure which has proven its longevity.


  1. St Pancras and Kings Cross

St Pancras and Kings Cross figure prominently on London’s skyline.

During repairs and extensions, both stations used lime-based products.

As a result of the restoration, the lime mortar gave the buildings a new lease of life and allowed a rich blend of modern and old construction techniques. This helps the structures to keep blending in with their surroundings and endure.

The precise craftmanship involved in such large-scale projects, showcase the pinnacle of lime brickwork.  When looking for exemplars, it’s hard to find better case studies than St Pancras and Kings Cross.


  11. Six Bells and The Wintles

Six Bells and The Wintles are sustainable neighbourhoods in Bishops Castle, Shropshire.

The Living Village Trust was set up in 1993 with the aim to make homes more eco-friendly and comfortable.

Lime Green has worked within these projects for many years, supplying lime products, including lime mortar, lime plaster and lime render , for use throughout the homes.

Back in the 1990s, building eco-friendly homes was seen as radical, which only a few had heard about, let alone able to build.  As such the product options were limited.


  1. Silbury Hill

Although the history of Silbury Hill is uncertain, it remains an intriguing English monument and remarkably resilient.

Standing in Avebury, Wiltshire, the artificial mound was originally made up of soil and chalk and would have taken around four million man hours of work for the Neolithic people who constructed it in around 2400 BC.

Following excavations of the hill, carried out during the Victorian era and later in the late 1960s, the tunnels began to collapse in 2000. Lime Green supplied lime mortar to mix with chalk to backfill the excavations to prevent further collapse.


If you’d like more information about the various uses of lime, get in touch or call one of our trusted team of experts on 01952 728611.

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