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Soiling of a pillar

The Weathering Research Group (WRG) is a complementary team of researchers who publish and network together nationally and internationally and have built upon quality research to establish themselves as the largest UK centre for pure and applied research into stone properties, natural rock weathering and urban stone decay. In addition to producing good science, a major strategy of the WRG is the development of an interdisciplinary approach to complex weathering issues. International leadership in this area is reflected in conference organisation and collaborative research links. Conferences organised includes: the first international meeting (Hungary 1997) of the UK Stone Weathering and Atmospheric Pollution Network, an international symposium at the Geological Society in London (1998) on palaeoweathering and long-term landscape evolution (IGCP317, BGRG and Geol. Soc.), the first ever international weathering conference, 'Weathering 2000', held at QUB (BGRG and RGS/IBG) and a special session on diagnosing stone decay held at the European Geosciences Union meeting in Vienna during April 2005. In addition to their track record of research into stone decay processes, recent studies by the group have also begun to encompass the social dimension of cultural heritage conservation. This is epitomised by two current PhD projects. The first is an examination of the intellectual divide between science-based conservation and architectural history through a study of medieval churches in Ireland and Scotland. The second is a study of a values-based approach to heritage protection through a study of the conservation of colonial built heritage in post-colonial India. This work is supported by extensive experience in the conservation of natural heritage through, for example, contract work on landscape management (including World Heritage site management) and memb ership of the statutory advisory council for the DoE in Northern Ireland (CNCC – Smith).


The Limestone Project