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.
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.
so each window had its own shape to be done – no shortcuts with this job
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.
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.
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.