Catherine Woolfitt has worked in the conservation of the built heritage since 1993. She established Catherine Woolfitt Associates in 2008 after wide-ranging work experience in Italy, Israel and the UK, in both the museum and building conservation sectors.
Catherine Woolfitt Associates provides technical advice and consultancy services in the conservation and repair of historic buildings, ancient monuments and sculpture.
She was a director of Ingram Consultancy Ltd from 1999 to 2008 with the conservation architect Professor John Ashurst and building surveyor Graham Abrey. Prior to that she worked as historic building consultant for Hutton + Rostron Resurgam and at Bournemouth University with Professor John Ashurst.
Important past projects have included acting as heritage advisor in the redevelopment of the Barlow Train Shed at St Pancras Station and historic building assessments for Colchester and Aldershot Garrisons.
Catherine Woolfitt has taught practical for the Building Conservation Masterclasses at West Dean College and their predecessors at the English Heritage Building Conservation Training Centre at Fort Brockhurst since 1995.
Catherine Woolfitt is an architectural conservator, building archaeologist, and accredited member of the Institute for Archaeologists (IfA). She combines a wide knowledge of building archaeology and history with practical experience of conservation methods and materials appropriate to buildings, ancient monuments, and sculpture.
After completion of training in classical archaeology and art conservation in 1992, she worked in Rome (at ICCROM – the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage) and the UK (National Museums of Scotland in Edinburgh and Bournemouth University).
Her work experience covers the range of architectural periods from classical Greek and Roman to medieval monuments and buildings of the twentieth century. Project experience encompasses major redevelopment schemes, including St Pancras and Kings Cross Stations, and input at various stages from planning and procurement to execution of remedial work to heritage fabric.
Conservation of porous building materials – stone, brick, terracotta, mortar – is a particular area of specialisation.
As heritage advisor to public and private clients, the practice offers a flexible and practical approach, tailored to particular project needs. There is flexibility in how work is structured, from acting as a member of a larger project team to coordinating input from other specialists.
Key skills and knowledge that underpin the practice:
Experience of working within a project team on complex buildings / sites
Experience of procuring and coordinating other specialist input
Ability to assess and analyse buildings and sites
Ability to identify and prioritise conservation and repair options
Understanding of traditional building materials, their weathering in an external environment
Technical understanding of cleaning and repair methods and materials
Comprehensive knowledge of history of art and building construction
Knowledge of the statutory controls which apply in the repair of historic fabric
High Standard of clear, concise documentation
Impartial, independent advice, unbiased by commercial interest
Catherine Woolfitt is a tutor for the Building Conservation Masterclasses at West Dean College for the Mortars and Conservation of Ruins Courses. For more information, click here
She also teaches on the MSc Course in Building Conservation at the Weald and Downland Museum. Click for more information
(2010) with Chris How and Marie Jackson, “ Tuff Stone masonry near Tower Hill in Victoria: Fragmentary Remains of Pioneer Settlement in Australia, Journal of Architectural Conservation, vol 16, no3 (Click here for link)
(2009) ‘Portland Stone Facades, The Building Conservation Directory, Cathedral Communications Ltd, 2009, 104-6
(2007) “Preventive Conservation of Ruins: Reconstruction, Reburial and Enclosure”, Chapter 5 , and Chapter 10 Case Studies – Guildford Castle and the Northern Palace at Masada, Israel, in: J Ashurst, Conservation of Ruins, Butterworth-Heinemann, 2007
(2002) “Lime Method Evaluation: A survey of sites where lime-based conservation techniques have been employed to treat decaying limestone” in: English Heritage Research Transactions, vol 2, Stone, James and James, January 2002
(2000) “Soluble Salts in Masonry,” The Building Conservation Directory, Cathedral Communications Ltd, 2000, 83-84, (click for link)
(2000) “Poultices: the true or plain poultice and the cleaning and desalination of historic masonry and sculpture,” (with G Abrey) The Building Conservation Directory, 2000, 162-163, (click for link)
(1999) “The Northern Palace, Masada: Israeli-British collaboration in the conservation of limestone and wall paintings”, Conservation News (Official Newsletter of the UKIC), no 69, July 1999, pages 41-42