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Abstract

Decay mapping and condition assessment have proved to be useful tools in understanding stone decay and identification of remedial action. In this paper an holistic strategy is taken to the study of façade decay at the medieval Bonamargy Friary, on the north Antrim coast, Northern Ireland. After lithology and decay forms are mapped, interrelationships between decay form, stone type and environment are identified and quantified. This is accomplished through analysis of the spatial association of decay forms, and is used to inform our understanding of decay processes and environmental and lithological controls on those processes. This approach is combined with the application of the UAS (‘Unit’, ‘Area’, ‘Spread’) staging system developed by Warke et al. that is based upon a ‘whole-building’ approach to the assessment of stone condition, the spread to decay and a staged approach to conservation intervention. The case study demonstrates how the combination of these approaches improves our understanding of the factors that control stone decay whilst providing a clearer understanding of the cumulative impact of combined decay mechanisms.

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