This was used to keep the  outer chimney bricks from collapsing – maybe installed at a later date. Could be made from old cart spring


Another chimney support rescued from demolished chimney is part of an old cart axle – used now as support for stones used in smoking chamber – that now is part of stairwell ceiling


Hand made mud bricks –  these were put in under some branches used to prop up roof at a later date.  Made of sun-dried marle subsoil – did the job but dissolve quickly.  Mud cottages would not have been strange then and many are still lived in – nearly everything would have been at hand – branches for roof, mud for walls and straw for a roof.


Hand forged bolts and fireplace anchors in background – the last  local forge closed only in the last 10 years and perhaps his predecessors even made these items. In fore-ground is modern steel bracket used to hold wood plank which will carry curtain-rails; I had it made in the local engineering works. See  bracket used  over window in picture below.

2016-10-29-11-06-13 If you look at cut out shape in front of window you will see how I made the template using plasterboard to arrive at finished wood that goes from window under the lintel to the curtain plank. A very tedious job as each shape is different due to the walls construction.

2016-10-29-11-05-46so each window had its own shape to be done – no shortcuts with this job 2016-10-29-11-06-50



Doors where panels  were either rotten from sitting in a damp ruin for so many years or where the woodworm had their wicked ways. I routed out around the edge of the panel – the retaining door frame itself so releasing the rotten panel – only done on one side of course – great care has to be taken not to go through the panel  as you will have to fix a small quadrant on other side to hold the new panel. 3 ply is easily and cheaply bought.


This door below had so many layers of paint that I had to be careful to do it outside and keep removing the burnt off paint flakes as they were igniting the other fallen paint strips lying on the ground – it is a slow and painful process but had to be done as the paint was blistering and cracking.2017-02-03-12-30-051.jpg


view of stone soffit

As can be seen the stone soffit I wanted to retain, however, normally the slate comes to the edge of this and falls down too close for my liking to the walls of the house – there is enough damp already without more splashing from the roof.  So I got the local engineering company to make these supports that both carry the external roof wood and the facing soffit. Fitting again was fiddly as I was putting in 6 inches plus of 3/4 inch threaded bars (2 for each bracket) –  spacing was dependent on getting gaps in the mortar in the right place – variable as 2 holes to fit the bars – that is why the brackets are haphazardly put in.


close up of brackets

I tried to keep the outer soffit relatively straight so coachbolts have been used to fix on 6X2 wood – packing out each one to counter the in and out contour of the roof lip.

Also to stop birds and insects accessing the roof space I put in chicken wire and mortar at regular intervals – and a mesh for smaller crawlies. Also you need good airflow getting into the roof space – that it has.


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