N.W.B.S Nicholas West brickwork specialist Contractors





Bushy Leaves 2008

Gudgeon Farm House 2008

Zion Chapel 2007

Swingle swangle 2006

Lime House 2005

Juglans House 2004

Stone and Schist


Chilham Castle

Chilham Steps

Re pointing

Lime Mortars




Brick Barns

Brickwork Details

New Zealand brickworks

Period properties



Recent restoration works of 2008

Nicholas West Brickwork Specialist offers the best service & highest standards






These three images show the Dairy Cottage, Bushy leaves when it was a working farm and which is still a beautiful 16th century cottage. What is truly beautiful about these images is how they just capture the past, the simple good life. This farm was once part of the Lord Darnley estate.

I believe these pictures were taken around the 70s when ducks were 'ducks' and chickens ran free.

The top left image shows the original front of the property before changes were made in the 80's, when a big new addition was added to the right hand side of the cottage, this addition (new build) was built as a separate property, with aprox 2 metres distance between both properties. Then at a later date permission was granted to build a new porch which joined the two properties together. Then new work of a side extension, by this stage it had changed the original dairy cottage forever. Also the old brickwork that had replaced the pervious wattle and daub was then completely taken down and built in a new brick and in cement mortar.


The Image above shows . In its life time has under gone major transformations but as luck may have it the oak framing has remained intact and must say its in really good condition for its age.When this property was first built the oak framing on this property would have had wattle and daub inset between framing as kind weathering, over time this had attendance to rot and be plagued by rats or my been changed due to brick being more ready available becoming the new building material. Studying old pictures show by the client, which shows that in this case the bricks original used probably came from dismantled house close by. bricks in this era were valuable and been sold on. As the original brickwork is made up different size of broken bricks laid in a rough and ready way which is today dignified by the term haphazard bond the 80's had insert brick panels replace


Sadly the brickwork was dismantled in the early 80's due to bricks sprawling and losing their faces and probably brickwork bowing and the fact that some doors were replaced by windows etc. All new work was replaced with new red handmade bricks built in cement mortar. This was the 80's when listed properties weren't sort after and didn't have the conservation they have now a days. All inner walls were replaced by thermolite blocks.

This image show the replacement brickwork of the 80's rebuilt in cement and bricks of all the same colour, the trouble with these bricks is that they were a too much of all the same shade of colour and kent red bricks came in different shades, due to firing process, making many different shades of bricks that were mixed together when used, also their where a lot of bricks were burn 't and these created the blue glazed markings and headers later and used for making decorative patterns later.



This image shows brickwork pointed in cement finished in a weather pointing, Also on this panel all brickwork is protruding past the old oak framing, this work was carried out in the 80's.



One thing that I noticed about this property is all the brick work in a miss mass of different bricks and pointing finishes, more than likely built by different trade mans. The bond on the front is flemish pointed in weather strut, whilst the brickwork on the back is stretcher bond pointed in birds beak. on side elevation finished in some kind of finger pointing. From the image opposite you can see some off the old bricks have been used mixed with new handmade, which in my opinion looks out of place show up new bricks to much.


Image shows how bad some finishes were and the thick perp joints not pointed properly this work was carried out in the 80's. my guess is there was few different bricklayers work on this project.



This image show the brickwork finished in a real poor pointing. If you look closely you can see brick reveals are not finished correctly would always be built with full brick up against window reveal header closer on next course to form quarter bond




The image shows the original replacement brickwork that replaced the wattle and daub, this was the first building material between oak framing. The brickwork was laid in lime and was cement pointed over at later date of which was completely unnecessary.






The image above shows a window has been bricked up in cement mortar when the panel is finished and been re-pointed in lime mortar and had a few glazed headers add to this panel this repair won't notice.


These two images show lime work carried out early 1920's with glazed headers mixed with kent reds and a lot of local farm houses were built in these bricks. As I believe that this is what the building would look like if replaced correctly. From the different colours in this panel the conclusion was draw up, to use this panel as a format when restoring the rest of the property. Mixing the bricks taken from the other elevation with mixing with selected reclaim bricks.




This image opposite is the brick panel above with more glazed headersadded into the panel, all cement mortar was also taken out and re-pointed in lime mortar.all brickwork had been rebuilt in 7mm beds making it really nice to re-point.

This image show a new panel that's been rebuilt in lime mortar in flemish bond mixing old reclaim bricks with glazed headers and bricks taken out off this original panel.


Panel finished on front elevation



This image shows the same section of brickwork in the opposite image.The corner reveal was taken down carefully and rebuilt using the same bricks, whilst mixing in some reclaim bricks and glazed headers and correcting the bond around doorway, if you take a close look at old image, the bricks are 3/4 bricks up the door frame, where on rebuilt corner stretcher follower ed by header and queen closer.


This image show old brickwork built in stretcher bond each panel also run with oak frame each panel was at a different levels.



As always with new work that been carried, out always needs the elements to take it course or go go through first winter so the property can weather in properly. then the workmanship can be really appreciated. Then better photograph can be taken on my return to UK. Don't worry its only 12000 miles to work? June to September.