St Mary’s Church Pew Platforms Project – Report no. 8

Monday, March 5: With the snow going fast and while passing lifting straps below the remaining large slab in the porch, it was found to have a hewn edge under the wall, not smoothly tapered like the other sides.  John Warr surmises that it may be the mediaeval altar stone that Vicar Witham’s brother had been looking for.

Electrician Tom fitted the new porch outside light and added a switch for the vestry heater.

New timber was delivered and the floor boarding to the CE platform was completed.

Tuesday:  New treated pine joists were fitted to NE pew platform pit.

Electrician completed power sockets for cctv in the ringing room.

Outside timber seat was removed and stored in church to clear the way for moving the great slab.

Lifting frames and a very long gantry were delivered.

Wednesday:   Lifting frames assembled through the porch and the slab lifted and rolled outside, then by dismantling and moving  the lifting frame three times, the slab was shifted to its new position by the south aisle wall. Archaeologist Tim did a small deep trial dig under its location and the turf was removed with the DAC Archaeology Advisor’s permission. The turf was tidied up and the wooden seat reinstated.

Thursday and Friday: Stonemason Ben is taking over from Brett McGeoch who is moving to another Stone Edge job near Oxford next week. Together they hand-sawed out the top stone step into the church ready for the sloping access and polished the remaining stone to match the upper doorway pillar.

See Susan’s video with Brett:

The stored pews and the flower arrangers’ cupboard were all moved to the south and central east areas, to provide a clear space for the delivery of the steelwork for the rear platform on Monday.


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