The history of pebble dash

by | Jul 7, 2023

The history of pebble dashing

Pebbledash is a type of exterior wall cladding with a long and fascinating history. It first began being used in Scotland during the late 1800s as a less expensive alternative to plaster or stucco. The pebbledash technique involves laying down a base coat of mortar on the wall and then sprinkling a top layer of small pebbles onto the mortar. There is a variety of different sizes and shapes of pebbles that can be used, giving the wall cladding an interesting texture and colour.

Origin of Pebble Dash

The origin of pebble dash can be traced back to 16th-century Scotland, where it was used as a less expensive alternative for costly stone. This type of wall cladding was often found on the gables and the sides of homes in rural Scotland. Over time, it became popular throughout the region and was even used to clad churches and other buildings.

In the 1900s, as the trend of pebbledash spread to England, it started to take on a more mass-produced approach. Rather than having to use individual stones, companies began producing a wide variety of cladding material in different sizes and colour pebbles. In the 1920’s when there was widespread building demand across the UK, pebble dash was used to cover poor quality brick work.

The pebbles used in pebble dashing are often dredged from the sea bed around the UK’s coast, however a lot of pebble dash is made from small flint chips. This type of pebble dashing is known as spar dashing. There are different types of spar dash such as Canterbury spar, sharp-dash, sharpstone dash, thrown dash, pebble stucco, Derbyshire Spar, Yellow spar, golden gravel, black and white and sunflower.

The oldest known pebble dashed building in the UK is the central tower of St Albans Cathedral (see photo).

Advantages of Pebble Dash

One of the biggest advantages of pebbledash is its durability. Because of its rough texture, it is highly resistant to cracks, chips, and other damage caused by extreme temperatures or weather conditions. Pebble dash does not require any maintenance and is easy to clean, making it a great option for homeowners who want a long-lasting cladding solution.

Additionally, pebbledash can be applied quickly and easily, making it ideal for both new builds and remodels. The wide variety of materials available also provides homeowners with a great deal of creative flexibility. It is possible to combine different shapes, sizes, and colours of pebbles to create a unique finish that adds character and charm to any home.

Modern Day Pebble Dash

Although pebbledash remains a popular option for some homeowners, it has fallen out of grace with many who see it as dated and look to have the pebble dash removed from their houses. The technique itself has not changed much over the years, the type of materials used in the application process has. One of the most popular materials used today is pea gravel, which offers a uniform look and a smooth texture.

Pebbledash is still a great way to give your home’s exterior a unique look and texture. Whether you are looking for a classic look or something more modern, you can find a variety of materials and techniques to create a beautiful and durable wall cladding that will stand the test of time.

Whether you are fan of pebble dash or not, our pebble dashing services are here to help. We can apply a new pebble dash render or remove it. Just get in touch to see how we can help improve property.