The Story So Far...
Rose of Jericho was founded in the late 1980s in the period immediately after the ‘lime method’ was employed so successfully for the repair and conservation of the West Front of Wells Cathedral.
These were exciting times, born from the recognition that non-permeable mortars, plasters and paints were inappropriate, and indeed often accelerated the decay of our built heritage.
The use of lime was a nearly-forgotten practice, as cement mortars, gypsum plasters and non-breathable emulsion paints had become the norm. Building construction books and courses only mentioned lime as a workability additive in cement mortars.
This had to change!
Rose of Jericho first traded in Corby, Northamptonshire, the brainchild of Peter Hood who had originally worked under the direction of John Fowler. This original incarnation was not commercially stable, and Rose of Jericho ‘merged’ with St Blaise Ltd, a specialist Dorset-based conservation building company with an enviable reputation. Rose of Jericho at St Blaise Ltd was born.
St Blaise had assembled a team of craftsmen at the forefront of the lime revival at a time when knowledge of traditional lime techniques was undergoing a renaissance. Peter Ellis, a Project Manager at St Blaise with a background in the conservation of paintings became responsible for Rose of Jericho at St Blaise in 1992.
A period of study and investigation followed. Lime was slaked and lime putty matured in pits. Historic mortars and paints analysed, traditional paint recipes researched and sources of historic pigments identified. Sands, aggregates and pozzolanic materials assessed.
Ironically, much was learnt from disaster. Both Rose of Jericho and St Blaise were involved in the restoration of St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, Uppark House and Prior Park after the devastating fires.
In 2001, manufacture was moved to a bigger site at Horchester Farm between Yeovil and Dorchester where it continues to this day. Peter completed a management buy-out in 2003 when St Blaise experienced financial difficulties, and Rose of Jericho Ltd has continued to develop and expand its product range focussed on authenticity and quality during Peter’s ownership.
Over the decades Rose of Jericho products have been used in countless prestigious projects and on many of the most iconic and culturally important buildings in Britain and further afield, including all five mainland Historic Royal Palaces, many Cathedrals and countless Stately Homes in both public and private ownership.
Although beyond retirement age and having passed the management of the Company to the next generation, Peter is still actively involved and continues to provide expert consultancy and materials analysis for a range of customers from cottage owners to the Royal Household.