St Mary’s Church Pew Platforms Project report #15 and final

Monday May 13: Unexpectedly Brett turned up and set about preparing the reuseable porch floor slabs and advising the archaeologists the exact depth requirements.   Another infant and another larger skeleton found today in hard clay. The latter has chest bones remaining and was removed and will likely be one of the two for analysis.

Tuesday: The architect visited first thing.  Brett has marked the exact levels of the new floor so the archaeologists know how far to go down.  Another skeleton was found at a slightly more NW to SE orientation than the others. However there appears to be the feet of yet another skeleton at about the groin area of the lower. Both to be removed today.  This leaves a hump near the outer door to be investigated.  Brett has filled the saw marks in the largest slab that came out of the porch and completed sawing other old porch paving stones for re-use.

Wednesday: Neil Nightingale of Stone Edge visited. Stone flags for new porch floor being prepared, tidying up drain east of porch and along path.  Archaeologist Carol and assistant Anna down to level and have a couple of skull fragments to record and remove and photo the porch to create a 3D image.

Thursday: Carol the archaeologist completed the last little bits of recording this morning as well as taking the two skeletons identified as having potential. The remainder of the human remains are in the church ready for storage. Brett started to lay the new floor base for the porch. See Susan’s video with Brett at

Friday and Saturday: Continued to lay the new concrete base to the porch.  The original top step stone has been removed cut down to the new lower height and reinstalled.  He took delivery of the new folding tables and trolley on Friday morning. Brett will then leave the work for Ben to finish next week.


Sunday May 20: New  tables and chairs used for the first time for teas during the Open Gardens Scheme and raised a very good sum of money for the Restoration fund.



Monday and Tueday May 21-2: Porch paving being laid.

Wednesday: Path prepared for tarmac. Extra vents installed under pews to ventilate the underfloor space even better.

Thursday: Tarmac delivered and installed to those parts of the south path, east path, tower path and up to the porch that had been disturbed. Slopes have been incorporated to prevent water flowing into the porch and directed to the slot drain across the entrance. The slopes also meet recommendations for wheelchair access.

Friday:  Clearing up with final items being attended to.  The Practcial Completion Certificate was issued by the Architect on May 29 with a small snag list for completion. 

Wednesday, May 30: The electricians explained the porch and path lighting which we thought was defective: there are PIR sensors in the porch and at the east gate which switch on the gate, path bollards and porch lights for a set period when it is dark and someone approaches.  The light units at the east gate and inside the porch additionally have their own infra-red sensors and will go to half light and then off if they do not detect anyone present!

A churchyard working party and church cleaners at work to make ready for the first formal use of the revised entrance at the wedding on Saturday.

Look out for the invitation to the service of blessing of the works by the Bishop of Brixworth on July 15 in the June LINK.  Also for the tours of church and tower – click here.

Thanks go to everyone who has contributed to the fundraising, making donations and grants and the professionals and craftsmen who have enabled the work to be undertaken.  Also thanks to our neighbours for putting up with the works traffic and unsightly outlook during the project!


PS: The skeletons from the porch and the bones excavated from the east gate path were reinterred by the Revd Sue Faulkner on August 21, in the churchyard, north of the ‘north porch’.

Next job – the nave roof!


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