I love proper lime-washes, and I am pleased to see that the old techniques for making and applying it are coming back into vogue. There have been thousands of old buildings which have been partially destroyed by the plastic, petro-chemical products of ICI over the years. The irony is that these plastic paints cost so much more than a traditional lime-wash, that I am amazed that they became so popular.
Proper slaked (not hydrated) lime is mixed with water and a fixative like tallow or casein to make a white-wash, and the colour is achieved by adding earth pigments like - as in this case - yellow ochre. If you mix artificial, modern pigments with lime, they simply disappear within a couple of hours, but natural earth tints are lime-fast, and will last as long as the base stays stuck to the stonework - many, many years.
Corsham is a strange place - a real mixture of country town classic, and single-mother estate hell. It is a dangerous place to be at night, which you wouldn't think to look at it by daylight.
When I took this photo on friday, I had just left a junk shop where I had seen a poster advertising 'Pear's Soap', dating from about 1903, and it is so astoundingly racist, that I almost posted up the pictures of it here to illustrate how attitudes have - mostly - changed in the last 100 years, but actually I think the advert is so offensive that I cannot show it. That's how bad it really is! You can probably guess the content of it anyway, especially given the title of this post. 'Pear's' still make soap!