Heritage Testing Ltd

Independent commercial laboratory & test consultancy
Consulting Historic Buildings, Environmental & Materials Scientists
Serving the private, public, conservation, commercial & industrial sectors

Telephone: +44 (0) 1273-891785
Fax: +44 (0) 1273-256545

  • Fast turnaround.
  • Friendly, approachable, professional staff & advice.

Heritage Testing Ltd has considerable expertise in the analysis of historic building materials, including hydraulic lime mortar, & building stone, for conservation & preservation purposes.

The use of lime binders and hydraulic lime for new build projects has also regained popularity as architects and engineers have become increasingly more aware of the benefits of these materials over cement-based binders.

Palace of Westminster

Westminster Hall, Palace of Westminster was originally constructed in the 11th Century, mainly of Caen Stone, a fine grained Middle Jurassic limestone from Normandy. This limestone showed poor durability, and high susceptibility towards erosion and pollution damage.

Thus there has been a long history of regular restoration and repair using a wide variety of other limestones, many of which have themselves eroded. Continued modern repair has benefited from a scientific perspective re. identification of these stone types, their durability, and cause of decay.

Limestone photomicrographImage on left shows a photomicrograph of a sample of Limestone, taken from one of the parapet walls of Westminster Hall during 2000. The image shows a well-sorted, medium to coarse grained, porous, Oolitic limestone; the ooliths are welded and cemented at points of contact by a fine, isopachous, fringe of calcite crystals (blue areas due to resin dye which has been used to impregnate the sample voids).

This suggests a likely source in the Middle Jurassic Lincolnshire Limestone quarries of the Stamford area in Lincolnshire; notably the Casterton quarries (now defunct) or Ketton quarries (still quarried) of that area.

Paint Toxicity and Risk

An in depth article on paint toxicity and risk assessment, written by us for The Building Conservation Directory 2018.

Case Studies

Concrete Beams
Concrete Beams

Sampling and in-situ testing of pre-stressed concrete roof beams.

Historic Stone
Historic Stone

Historic building materials analysis and historic stone analysis.


Soil Heave Factsheet
Soil Heave Factsheet

Causes of Soil Heave; Liquidity Index; Frost susceptible soils. (Updated 05th July 2000)

Calcium Silicate Masonry / Brick Factsheet
Calcium Silicate Masonry / Brick Factsheet

What is Calcium Silicate Masonry / Brick; XRD procedure; Typical XRD results. (Updated 12th August 2002)