Thursday, 16 December 2010

Ice House project Frozen!

Following a few questions about the Ice House restoration project at Compton Verney, where I work as grounds manager, I thought I'd try to get at least a few mobile photographs on here as an update.

I initially covered the start of the project in my blog post on Sat 2nd Oct 2010, but the rate of progress & speedy passage of time has prevented me from posting many more pictures since. The brick 'dome' has been repaired, along with the entrance tunnel which also sports a restored arched ceiling. All repair work has been completed using appropriate lime based mortar mixes - no mean feet considering the temperatures of late!
Hefty Oak roof timbers have been fitted to the structure, featuring a number of complex joints that were hand cut, on site, in the freezing tempeatures of the last few weeks. A sturdy Oak floor has also been fitted inside the house to replicate an original floor that would have supported the stored ice. This was particularly funny, as for a good period of time, throughout the snowy period, I would frequently pass by & see no sign of work activity but for a small generator rumbling away outside an ice house shrouded with polythene & hessian sheeting. When I eventually popped in to see how things were going, the guys were working away, inside & down at the very bottom of the ice house installing the timber floor - with the generator being used to power the lights - rabbits in a cosy winter burrow comes to mind!

Anyway, the building work has ceased at the moment, & has been replaced by a thatching team who have the challenge of cladding the new roof structure with its outer coat. I must say, I'm impressed with the rate of progress & the interest that this portion of work is creating. The thatching reaches almost to ground level, & its therefore much easier to see the work at close quarters - & for a none thatcher - the techniques employed are amazing. I hope the photo's below show the complexity of the work.

As the grounds are now closed for the winter, if you are particularly interested in seeing a particular aspect of the thatching, let me know & I may be able to add a photo.

For now however, here a few pictures to keep us going, enjoy!

Work begins to build up the thatch layers.

All the very best, enjoy your thatching!

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