|Location of cellar 4.|
There haven't been many blog posts on progress of our own work, but that doesn't mean to say we've been doing nothing. It's just slow, dirty work, and the place is a mess. But then that's part of the fun, so there will follow a few "in progress" posts, despite the piles of plasterboard lying around the place (we need a container soon).
|Cellar 4, before work began, June 2011.|
The floor of this cellar is a patchwork of cobbles, concrete tiles and poured concrete. All of that has to come out to a safe depth (foundations are probably quite shallow) and layers of gravel, membranes and concrete laid to reduce the capillary action that is currently making this quite a damp room. When it's raining, the borders between these patches of different floor look damp, so much so, that we wondered how high the ground water might be, considering the house is built into a slope.
We want to keep the cobbles for further use, and that's monkey work I can do rather than paying someone to do it (every little helps), so this has been one of my tasks over the past couple of days (and after a week in Edinburgh, just what the Doctor ordered). Mostly, this has involved work with a lump hammer and masonry chisel to loosen the stone, then just lift. Not too heavy until two-thirds across the area where they are sitting, bonded in what looks like limecrete (I assume so if this goes back some time). This really is like pulling teeth, having to bash a gap between stones in order to then prise it out with a crowbar, leaving a socket behind. I had thoughts of lifting and re-laying the floor in cellar 1, which is completely cobbled, but that's now on the very long finger.
The stones are being stored in one of the cellars in the barn, which we now refer to as the Stone Room. All manner of reclaimed bricks, tiles and other stoney material are being stashed here for better times.
|Part of the cobbled are remaining in cellar 4.|
|About a quarter done, with the easy stuff.|
|Where it starts getting hard. Literally.|
There's been decades of cow and horse urine over these stones, but no treasure found under them yet!