Thursday, 18 February 2021 14:00 until Thursday, 18 February 2021 16:00


Online Zoom Seminar


Richard Ireland was lead investigator into the Apollo Theatre ceiling collapse in December 2013. His work with historic plaster and decorative surfaces typically involves a combination of archaeological investigation, scientific analysis, and contextual historic research, and besides these projects he also teaches and lectures in his subject and is widely published. Richard works for many public bodies across the UK and Ireland including Historic England, English Heritage, Historic Royal Palaces, Royal Household Property Services, Westminster City Council, Office of Public Works Ireland, the National Trust, Historic Scotland and Ecclesiastical organisations. He works as an adviser for Historic England for the Building Conservation and Research Team and is a Principal Contributor to the English Heritage ICRI is delighted to offer an online seminar on DECORATIVE PLASTER CEILING INVESTIGATION & CONSERVATION by RICHARD IRELAND   

18 February 2021 at 2pm - Online

Successful and appropriate conservation of historic plasterwork requires a broad range of skills. This seminar provides an overview of some of the materials, the type of problems these present, and the implications of resolving these in an appropriate way that is able to ensure both the physical integrity of the scheme and its historic value are safeguarded. As such, this work often combines archival research, material analysis and whatever practical skills are required to facilitate long term preservation and safety. 

Richard Ireland will relate several of the topics to projects he has worked on in Ireland. 

It is mixed with fine sand and each element modelled freehand in situ to the surface – thus each element is a unique piece: all characterised by undercut and softer edges. 

Lime is the predominant material used for decorative plaster till the end of the C.18th – though both materials overlap in use and each can be incorporated in the other to modify performance. 


Mortars, Renders & Plasters, Practical Building Conservation (2012). 

To register (free for ICRI members) email by Monday 15th February. 

‘Plaster’ covers two entirely different materials: the more commonly known today is plaster of Paris, otherwise known as gypsum or casting plaster – the fine white powder formed from heated gypsum or alabaster rock, mixed with water and poured into rubber moulds in art class to create a rigid cast in minutes. This gets used from the late C.18th onwards for casting decorative elements and later, large decorative panels: all characterised by sharp clean edges. 

Lime plaster is completely different. The product of limestone heated to 1,300 degrees centigrade – forming quicklime, which added to water, forms a putty like a solid cheesecake. 

c/o Chester Beatty Library, Dublin Castle, Dublin D02 AD92
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The Institute has Charitable Status in Ireland (CHY 10652) and is registered as a Limited Company (No. 178248)

Copyright © ICRI 2020. All Rights Reserved.

Website by Elm House Creative