Shapes of Buildings

Glimpses of  Countryside

Buildings Closing a View

Pavements & Streets

Timber Framed Houses

Wattle & Daub


Use of Bricks

Use of Stone

Stucco & Rendering

Tile Hanging

Mathematical Tiles

Painting Bricks & Tiles

The Coming of Slate

Glass and Glazing

Unusual Features in Rye

Cast Iron

Changes in Fashion

Shapes of Rye
Materials of Rye

Shapes of Streets

Glimpses of Country Gallery

Protecting Rye’s historic heritage
for future generations

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During the early 1950s an attempt was made to cheer up the appearance of towns, despite the austerity of the post war period, by painting buildings.  The new 'emulsion' paint was cheap and easy to apply and would cover the grime in cities.  Publicised in the Sunday papers' new colour supplements such painting became highly fashionable.

With no planning restrictions at that time many historic buildings, shops, houses and even churches of perfectly good brick or tile hanging were painted, often white, and Rye lost many of its traditional colours and textures with the painting over of mellow red bricks and tile hanging.

The loss of colour and texture by painting bricks and tiles

In place of the subtle variation of hue and colour depending on the variations of clay and of firing in the kilns and the colour of the pointing between the bricks, the whole wall became a bland dazzling white.

Unfortunately it is almost impossible to remove paint from bricks and tiles due to the porosity of the clay.

The results of painting bricks and tiles

Unfortunately many types of paints will seal the wall and stop it breathing.  Moisture produced in the house by residents' cooking, washing, even breathing and any slight rising damp is now trapped in the wall, producing mould on inside walls.

For the sake of appearance, painted walls have to be repainted every few years at considerable cost including, now, the cost of scaffolding.  At least it does not have to be 'brilliant' white paint.

The use of limewash paints allows an old wall to breathe.

The Fashion for Painting Bricks and Tiles

Painted brick loses both the colour and the texture

Slate Mathematical Tiles