This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

Soft capping historic walls

Front cover for Soft capping historic walls

A better way of conserving ruins?

This report presents the results from a 4 year research project which investigated the role of soft capping on walls (grass and other plants used to cover wall tops) as a tool for conserving ruins. The performance of soft capping was compared with that of hard capping (wall tops constructed from stone and mortar) under a wide range of conditions. It is important to stress that the research concentrated on technical issues - concerns about aesthetics and presentation were not covered.


  • Summary (Heather Viles)
  • Section A: Introduction to the research project (Heather Viles and Chris Wood)
  • Section B: The presentation of ruins: a historical overview (Jeremy Ashbee)
  • Section C: Testing the efficacy of soft wall capping: methods and sites (Heather Viles and Chris Wood)
  • Section D: Field and laboratory results (Heather Viles)
  • Section E: Practical guidance: building soft capping (Alan Cathersides)
  • Section F: Practical guidance: building hard capping (Colin Burns)
  • Section G: Implications for future conservation practice: soft or hard capping? (Chris Wood)

Additional Information

  • Series: Guidance
  • Publication Status: Completed


If you require an alternative, accessible version of this document (for instance in audio, Braille or large print) please contact us:

Customer Service Department

Telephone: 0370 333 0607
Fax: 01793 414926
Textphone: 0800 015 0516

Was this page helpful?