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There are clues in storey heights and the relation of these heights to ground level, in window spacing, in roof form and pitch, in plan and the position of chimney stacks as well as in the architectural detail.

Chemical cleaning can sometimes produce satisfactory results, but inadequate washing off may cause staining.

Two buildings in Fleet Street, the former Union Bank by George Aitchison Sr of 1856 and the former Legal and General Insurance Office of 1885 by Sir Robert Edis.

Where this is not an option, some form of conservative repair can frequently be undertaken. Accelerated decay is commonly associated with poor repairs, neglected maintenance or unsuitable alterations. The bricks themselves can often be carefully removed and then reversed to hide the decay.

Only in exceptional circumstances will brickwork need to be taken down and rebuilt. Deficiencies in design, materials and workmanship may also play a role. Tile stitching may be an appropriate repair for cracks in historic brickwork, particularly where horizontal joints are no longer in line. Only bricks that are severely damaged should be cut out and replaced.

The traditional typologies developed by architectural historians, especially for timber framed vernacular buildings, are now being given greater precision by dendrochronology.

Last modified 18-Jul-2016 12:31