Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Historic Rammed Earth In Ontario

Reader Alex sent some photos of his 142 year old rammed earth house in Greensville, Ontario.


The walls are 12 inches thick standing on an 18" rubble footing. The ceilings are 11 feet high inside. The interior walls are lath and plaster, with the lath being set out about 3 inches from the earth walls on wooden vertical members. 

The interior of the wall has the same earth/gravel surface with no large stones visible. On the exterior, there is a coating of  stucco or lime plaster.

He writes to say, " I don’t know the nationality of the builder, but my research led me to an owner that immigrated from England when he was young. The story that’s been passed down to the prior owners and neighbours is that the house was once a church rectory. This seems to jive with what I’ve found so far. The 1877 land registry map is labelled with the last name “Hore,” which would be Francis William Hore, who owned a mill across the street, among others, and also built a stone mansion on a large lot next to us (now the residence of a billionaire). In the record of his death, it describes that he was a churchwarden at Christ Church Anglican, which is about a 5 minute walk away, so it’s entirely possible that he built the house as a rectory for the church. As for the actual builder, I found a paper that includes 1871 census information for stonemasons and stone cutters. Lincoln District is the closest that has census info, and the breakdown is England: 21, Ontario: 10, Ireland: 9, Germany: 5, USA: 4, Scotland: 2; Others: 2."


Max said...

I know where this is, I used to live on Harvest Road! You live in a gorgeous area!

Max said...

I know where this is - I used to live on Harvest Road. What a gorgeous area!!

Peter Higgins said...

This is very interesting. I have a house (a former church built by the Church) in England built from looks like the same material built in 1868 ish. It looks like the same material but using a local sand/earth will small stones with Lime plaster. I think possibly there is lime mixed in the substrate to hold it together. I'm not sure if I can post a picture?

Peter Higgins said...

This is very interesting because I have a house in England which looks like its made in exactly the same way. Small stones, stand / local earth. Mine is about 10 inch and should be rendered in Lime. It was built in 1860s a former school built by the church. Not sure if I can add photos on this blog to compare? I also believe there is some lime mixed in the substrate to hold things together.

Rammed Earth said...

send your photos to rammed.earth@gmail.com
along with whatever details you may have about your house and we will post them for the delight of our readership.
all the best,