North York Moors

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Conservation Area projects


Conservation Area Enhancement Grants have supported work to houses in Lythe, Rosedale Abbey, Thornton le Dale and Helmsley, which enabled original features to be restored, so enhancing the character of these pretty villages and market towns.

Vernon House, Lythe

This pair of handsome Georgian houses had undergone a series of unsympathetic alterations during the twentieth century, including cement rendering, loss of an unusual castellated porch, loss of a Victorian shop front and replacement windows. Conservation Area Enhancement grant was provided to assist the owners with removal of the render and restoration of the stonework, including pointing in lime mortar, which has had a stunning impact on the architectural and historic character of the village square. Further grant aided works are now underway to reinstate the castellated porch, the shop front and sash windows.

Rosedale Abbey Cottage

The village of Rosedale Abbey is distinctive for its charming gothic-style Victorian terraced cottages. Over time some of the distinctive architectural detailing has been lost. This project supported the reinstatement of the original window styles to the first floor windows of this property, enhancing the cottage and restoring some uniformity to the wider terrace of which it is part.

Thornton le Dale

This house in Thornton le Dale retained its fine Georgian detailing, seen in its large quoins (corner stones) and 'flat arch' lintels, which gave it a distinguished, classical appearance. However, it had lost its original small-paned sash windows.

Conservation Area Enhancement Grant supported the owners in reinstating single glazed vertical box sash and Yorkshire sliding sash windows to the original design and a traditional six-panel front door. The owner of the adjoining property is now applying for grant to restore the windows to his property in a matching style.


This prominent cottage had been unnecessarily cement rendered in the past, and we provided Conservation Area Enhancement Grant to remove the render, replace badly eroded stonework and re-point the joints using lime mortar.

In parts of the National Park the underlying stone is especially soft and susceptible to decay. This is exacerbated by the use of cement pointing and render because cement is hard and impermeable, and stronger than the stonework. This means that when moisture gets into the walls by penetrating rain or rising damp it collects in the stone rather than the mortar, and through the winter months freeze-thaw action causes the stone to erode.

For this reason, mortars should always be made from lime rather than cement because permeable lime mortars are softer than the stonework and therefore they will take the weathering rather than the stone. When stone erodes some builders apply a “quick fix” by rendering the eroding stone. This can create problems such as trapped dampness internally, as well as looking unsightly.