2017 Conference, Trondheim

Thursday 7 to Sunday 10 September

The Building Limes Forum was delighted that Nidaros Cathedral Workshop invited the Forum to hold its 2017 Conference and Gathering in Trondheim, Norway.

The theme of the conference was Rediscovering Traditional Mortars and includes lectures (in English), visits to the Cathedral and the workshops, and a firing of the workshop lime kiln to create quicklime for the hot-mixed lime mortars used in the cathedral restoration.

Trondheim, formerly called Nidaros, was Norway’s capital from 1030 to 1217. Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim is the most northern medieval cathedral in the world and has been a popular pilgrimage site for nearly 1000 years. The nave was ruinous from 1531 to 1869 since when there has been continuous rebuilding and restoration. Today, the cathedral is redoing this restoration work which had been carried out using inappropriate techniques and materials.

Nidaros Cathedral and Cathedral Workshop has 60 employees including 24 craftsmen: 14 masons, 3 blacksmiths, 2 carpenters, 2 leaded glass workers and 3 plasterers. The workshops are a centre of excellence retaining and training in traditional building skills.

Only hand tools are used and the workshops have developed their own techniques including using their own kiln to burn lime for mortar. Over 700 mortar mixes have been tried and tested to develop a (hot-mixed) mortar suitable for the materials and conditions in its northern climate.

Next Conference

20-22 September 2019, The Engine Shed, Stirling. Supported by Historic Environment Scotland

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