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Quirky Suffolk: The art of pargetting

PUBLISHED: 18:04 19 July 2010 | UPDATED: 17:33 20 February 2013

Quirky Suffolk: The art of pargetting

Quirky Suffolk: The art of pargetting

Why Suffolk homes enjoy decor with a difference

Pargetting - Suffolk decor with a difference

Pargetting is the art of external decorated plasterwork and although it is not exclusive to Suffolk it was practised here with enthusiasm from the late-Tudor period right up until World War One. With the wattle and daub method of construction (pargetting being suitable only for a lathed and timbered backing) the craft became an important and integral part of the building trade until bricks became more freely available. The pargetter would press the moulds of wet plaster (usually a mixture of slaked lime, sand, hair and the inevitable secret ingredient, known only to individual craftsmen) to the house exterior until it was fixed. Pargetting patterns came in a variety of forms including friezes (using ribbons of chevrons, scallops, fantails or dots), overall frames enclosing motifs, geometrical or floral designs, and coats of arms. The popularity for pargetting in Suffolk is often attributed to the plasterers who arrived here from the Low Countries and many of the parget themes are similar to those fashioned by Flemish craftsmen.

Taken from the book The Little Book of Suffolk by Carol Twinch published by Breedon Books, priced9.99.

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