Monday, 27 April 2009

Rain on the roof?

Today has seen some very heavy rain during the day, some hail as well just to give it a little more interest. Of course, now that we have a small part of the Abbey roof dismantled so that we can erect a scaffold on it to repair the tower, keeping the rain out is a small problem, though the contractor is doing his best.

The weather certainly isn't helping a difficult job. What are we doing? Well, in any building built of stone there comes a point at which some of the stone has eroded to the point that it needs to be replaced. As rebuilding isn't an option, this has to be done in one of two ways. Really damaged stones have to be partially broken out and refaced or replaced with new stone of the same type. Stones which are not so badly damaged can simply be refaced and the joints - which is where the erosion often starts - can be repointed or resealed with mortar. And sometimes neither of these options is suitble. Then it gets really creative, but always it has to be overseen by an archaeologist and all the necessary consents from the heritage monitoring bodies all have a say in how things are done.

But, stage one is getting access. Hence the scaffold, and this has proved more difficult to achieve than it was originally thought. But then, nothing to do with repairs on this building is ever straightforward!

And right now heavy rain is not what we need.

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