A Career in Ruins : Andrew Ziminski, Heritage Stonemason : BRLSI Lecture, Thursday 11th January 2024

Andrew Ziminski has worked on a wide range of monuments from the earliest surviving structure in England -The West Kennet Long Barrow to the Roman Baths and The Royal Crescent in Bath and so on through countless Medieval Churches and Cathedrals to the monuments of the Industrial Revolution.

In unpicking these monuments, Andrew has closely studied the work of his predecessors and discovered how they used their tools, what techniques they used to quarry, dress, and square up a variety of stone and how successive periods used different types of lime mortar for fixing.

Working in the Roman Baths in Bath, Andrew found it deeply satisfying to conserve the famous Gorgon Pediment and other equally important monuments using the same tools and techniques and even lifting equipment as his Roman forebears. At Salisbury Cathedral the work of the engineer/masons was appreciated who had designed the spire and supporting structure that transferred its gigantic mass down to the ground through adaption of Islamic engineering techniques.

Last year his book The Stonemason was published by John Murrays, and it has had some excellent reviews including “In attempting to reconnect us to this continuous narrative of English history and architecture, Ziminski is undertaking something more profound than the charm of this delightful book first suggests. Delicate as the threads that tie us to the past can seem, thanks to work like Ziminski’s, both as mason and as author, we can hope they will remain unbroken”. Robert Leigh-Pemberton, Sunday Telegraph 21-3-20.

Andrew Ziminski FSA has been working as a Heritage Stonemason on churches, listed bridges and archaeological sites throughout Bath and the Westcountry for the past thirty years.

The talk is taking place at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, 16 Queen Square, Bath, BA1 2HN on Thursday 11th January, 7.30pm, with an admission charge of £4 for members, and £5 for the general public. Pay on the door.