SEAHA Centre for Doctoral Training


Martin Michette

DPhil student, University of Oxford

Project Title 

Developing preventive conservation strategies for ‘problem stones’: Reigate Stone at the Tower of London

Background & Summary of Project

My research focuses on historic and natural building materials. I studied architecture and engineering before starting my doctoral research at SEAHA. Now I’m investigating Reigate Stone at the Tower of London. Reigate Stone was medieval London’s principal Freestone, contributing to a legacy of architectural heritage ranging from parish churches to royal palaces. Today very little is left, owing to large-scale replacement and ongoing decay. The project aims to improve the resilience of this valuable stone by assessing past and current conservation strategies, identifying decay mechanisms and classifying deterioration. This information will be used to develop sustainable, preventive conservation strategies. 


SEAHA Roles 

  • Student board member 2015/16 - 2017/18
  • Student representative to SEAHA advisory board 2015/16 - 2016/17


Martin Michette, Heather Viles, Constantina Vlachou-Mogire & Ian Angus, Assessing the Long-term Success of Reigate Stone Conservation at Hampton Court Palace and the Tower of LondonStudies in Conservation 2020 

Michette, M., Lorenz, R. and Ziegert, C. (2017) Clay barriers for protecting historic buildings from ground moisture intrusion, Heritage Science 5(31): 1-11.

Michette, M. & Bichlmair, S. & Kilian, R. (2018). Diagnosing Decay Mechanisms at the Porta Nocera Necropolis, Pompeii: The First Step Towards Effective Preventive Conservation, Studies in Conservation 63: 195-202

Michette, Martin,. Viles, Heather., Vlachou, Constantina and Angus, Ian. (2021). "In Situ, Non-Destructive Testing for Evaluating the Role of Pointing Mortar in Preventive Conservation Strategies. A Case-Study on Reigate Stone at the Wardrobe Tower, Tower of London." Minerals 11(4): 345.

Michette, Martin. (2021). "Integrating non-destructive techniques into the scientifically robust assessment of vulnerable historic masonry: Case studies on Reigate Stone." Journal of Building Survey, Appraisal & Valuation 10(3): 242-256.