Friday, May 16, 2014
Back to the present day.
The restoration is ongoing and an exciting find, under mud , silt, earth and debris has been the original floor of the cellar.
At an average depth of 18" I struck stone. It proved to be slabs of schist, about 50% of a floor. Thinking ourselves lucky to have so much left intact we sought to lift the stones, trench around the walls to put in a perforated drain pipe, remove a 4" slice of soil and replace it with impacted shingle and re-lay the slabs, standing to chance to acquire the rest.
No such luck. The spade struck hard with a shower of sparks and slid ! I followed as the spade sped away passing neatly under a biscuit of compressed soil. Crash !
What had revealed itself is a cut and napped quartz floor under the schist slabs. A lined diagonal drain is cut into the quartz and the evidence is that the quartz floor is original 12th Century. We have found coinage wedged between the quartz blocks in witness to its medieval origins.
Mother died, her legacy helped enormously. We committed ourselves to a programme of leaded stained glass windows and limed oak and chestnut woodwork in the style of manufacture of the 15th - 17th Centuries.
Copper guttering, cutstone work in stone sympathetic to the project from as far away as Spain and Alsace; the Sarcophagous destined to be moved into the cellar (will that make it a crypt then ?) before too long as it is starting to suffer the effects of drying out to the detriment of the carving.
"Templars" is like a living museum, we live their with trappings and object d'art from every era of history to the present day. A programme of maintenance of the existing will have to be budgeted after the cost of living and repayments of loans, forever to be the monthly nightmare as they are for so many of us, eh ?
"Templars" was saved from the bailiffs in a moment of crisis with the French loan sharks. Two years into the restoration, thirteen individuals, family and friends, from around the world put together a package enabling us to, with great difficulty, get the sharks and their menaces out of our hair. When finally our house sold, the brave and generous 13 were repaid and they will forever be part and parcel of the story of our quest to save "Templars" as intact as possible for the benefit of history and the interest of younger and future generations.
At the end of these posts you will find space for your comments, thoughts, observations and participation. Your inclusion in this site will be of great importance to us and I must say, we have not set up the blog as a begging bowl, just as a means to share our enthusiasm and excitement of such an unusual project.