Cardigan has benefited from an uplifting eco-conscious restoration of one of its greatest historical landmarks this year. Reopening this spring, Cardigan castle has been looking for a purpose in the modern day since it closed its doors 12 years ago. Four years after works began, the castle has now been restored and re-purposed to honour its history and to give the 900-year-old site a relevant role in the 21st Century.
Eco-consciousness has permeated on the area’s building community, with a number of local companies focussing on the importance of looking after our built heritage in more traditional and sympathetic ways.
Sympathetically caring for an old building means using materials and methods best suited to the kind of building it is and the kind of appearance it was always intended to have. This doesn’t always mean using exactly the same colour as the building was to begin with or even using the same materials, but it does mean letting the building work as it was meant to without being held back by incorrectly specified modern materials. Eco-friendly paints offer a balance between lime washes and the pore-clogging plastic paints of the 20th Century. What we didn’t know in the previous century is that the chemicals we were putting into paints were keeping buildings from regulating how much moisture was in their walls. Now we know that to avoid damp and mould, a permeable membrane has to be used. Eco-friendly paints stop water from getting stuck in the walls and causing problems for our health, our, our homes, and the environment, whilst saving money too.
Eco paints are also lovely to use. At Celtic Sustainables, we choose to stock Earthborn Claypaint. It’s got a thick, creamy consistency thanks to its clay and water base, and its thickness provides excellent covering power. It can even be used on traditional lime and lime-plastered walls, allowing them to breathe.