There are many hundreds of buildings and boundary walls constructed with cob in Cornwall. Our 2006/07 survey revealed several large clusters, indicating the prolific use of cob around the county.
As well as these clusters of cob buildings, small groups and isolated one offs, were also unveiled.
Shuttering was used where door openings were required.
Lintels for windows would be buried in the cob at the appropriate height and the cob would be removed below each lintel at a later stage. There is some evidence to suggest that the size of the window opening, or even having a window at all, depended on affordability, availability or even the window taxation period during the 1700's. We discovered oak lintels buried in the wall on three separate projects, supporting the theory that the luxury of a window was not always possible.
Nowadays, when cob is required in large quantities mechanical assistance is used.
The soil, straw and water are distributed on a hard surface and a tractor or digger (the bigger the wheels the better) is driven back and forth over the ingredients.
Cob is only successful when mixed by compaction. The bucket on the vehicle is used to 'turn' the mixture and ultimately to pick it up and take it to the wall head.
Small amounts of cob can be trampled by human feet and used just as effectively for repairs.
Cob Bricks and Blocks
Commercially manufactured cob blocks in Cornwall are now readily available and are widely used both in repairs and rebuilds.
For demonstration purposes we have made bricks and blocks at the Royal Cornwall Show and other events. Using moulds of various shapes and sizes demonstrates the benefits, versatility and sustainability of cob in construction in Cornwall.
With public participation at these events we hope to enlighten, dispel suspicions and promote the use of sustainable materials.
For more information about Leslie Cornell Building Restoration and cob in Cornwall please Contact Us.
For more information about the terminology used within this website, please have a look at our Glossary.
If you have any questions about Historic Building Restoration in Cornwall, please visit our FAQ page.
Leslie Cornell Cob in Cornwall – Building with Cob in Cornwall – Cob Walls Cornwall