Details and Styles

Mathematical Tiling

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This page shows examples of Mathematical Tiling - a kind of 'fake' brickwork made of thin tiles hung on top of each other, nailed onto wooden battens and then pointed (i.e. with mortar placed betwen them) like bricks. They made a building look like a brick building - and more posh - but were much cheaper!

It is often very difficult to tell if the front of a building is real brick or mathematical tile - a clue is at the side... if the 'bricks' continue round, then they are probably real. If not (if there is wooden board or tiles) then possibly the front is mathematical tiles.

Look at these examples and see how tough it is!

This building, in Monastery Street, is brick at the bottom, but mathematical tiles at the top (see the colour difference).
You can see that at the side of the building, on the right with the windows, there are tiles only at the top part. This shows that the top part of the front of the building (above the street sign) is mathematical tiling.

Detail of 25 Sun Street (to the left of the cathedral main gate) - brick or tiles?

You can see that the tiles are coming off beside the drainpipe - see the next photo for more detail.

Detail of the same building - see that the tiles are thin, and that one covers the one below to keep the rain out.

Note also the wooden board which comes down beside them, but stops... that is to protect the side of the tiles, and has failed!


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Copyright Stephen Bax 2001