St Mary’s Church Pew Platforms Project – Report no. 7

Monday, February 26: Electrician fitted two  radiant heaters to each of the SW wall and Chancel and they are working.  NICEIC inspected the installation work.  Making a temporary internal porch to keep stone dust out of church when work starts on porch floor. Timber trim fitted around base of font.

Tuesday: Freezing and light snow later. Archaeologist Tim on site.  Start removing southern porch floor slabs and laying out in church. Some slabs sawn along sidewalls because the wall sits on them.

Wednesday: Snow and freezing. The larger porch slabs removed, all but one slid out from under wall, and laid outside. The side walls look like buttresses built on top of the slabs, probably in C20.  The largest slab turns out to be about a foot deep and is probably the top of a grave laying upside down. It took a great deal of persuasion to move it a bit.  Rear wall SW ceramic heater installed and working.  The concrete floor was drilled diagonally to get the cable to the side SW ceramic heater near the door from the CW pew pit.

Archaeologist Tim examining the content of two holes in the ground below the rear platforms (in the NW one he found a very rusty tin can and a broken cup probably from the 1880 works) and exposing the stonework and ground level under the pillar nearest the kitchen door.  Tim found some soil under the stone and thinks that was the original floor and that the Victorians dug out the pew pits to 15 inch depth from the existing floor level.  On the other hand the pillars look as if their bases may have been moved and the columns dismantled at some time!

Thursday: Heavy snow -4.5oC.  Architect sees the large slab and says it is too deep to go back in.  Where do we want it to go?  Stone Edge will need to hire special lifting frame to raise and move it –when the weather improves.  Colour of paint for exposed cables agreed as Olive Oil!

Friday: More snow. No show!

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