Week 6


More digging, more cement, and more digging.

At least it’s warmer now, and the guys can dig longer trenches without concern that they’ll cave in while they’re waiting for the cement to arrive.

One interesting thing is that the test bricks have arrived. These will be made into a panel for inspection. We’ll be checking that they look right, the pointing is good, and the mortar mix matches everything.

new “old” bricks

The old post that used to stand on top of the turret roof on the tower is now propped up against the loo. It’s made of wood with a lead sheath round it. I’ll ask them to keep it and we can put it in the garden somewhere.

post, loo, and barrow



Oh my word, did it sling it this morning or what? It’s been summer showers off and on all day. And I mean ON or nothing. So the place is looking more Somme-like this week. I’ll bet the pump has been in action. Tony the structural engineer and Tom of building control have both been down to site, and everything is going to plan.

Big events include filling the well with a “lean mix”, quotes are for us newbies: this is a mix of less concrete and more sand so it can be chipped out if needs be at any future point. But our paddling pool days are well and truly over; we now have no more well. I don’t feel extremely good about this–the well was one of the quirky features of the house that we made the best of and enjoyed. By getting rid of things like this, are we making this place more generic? I hope we are improving the site and keeping somewhat true to Alice Grey’s original plan by keeping the design functional and honest and by not going all KT22-glam. I can’t see that we’ll be housing the poor of Lambeth any time soon, but the house will at least keep the heat in. Maybe losing the well isn’t that big a compromise for a little modernity and thermal efficiency.

that there is a lot of concrete
bye bye well

The guys have dug, shuttered, braced and filled the rear bay too.

lining up the concrete
is this as exciting for you as it is to me?
Rear bay foundations. This will be an oak frame with a bunch of expensive windows in a few months
the tidy site and onlooker
bits of well, and well, other bits
murky evening walk back
getting to like this ritual


A little more shuttering and a little more concrete by the weekend.

all calm on site



4 thoughts on “Week 6

  1. Yeah, crazy that we had an old-fashioned well. It’s a bit close to the foundations so out it goes. I’m glad you’re liking the blog. I’m trying to keep it up to date as much as possible, and Nic is sending photos when I’m at work which is marvellous! (thanks, Nic) The walk is very short. Too short really; less than ten minutes, and it is indeed calming. It was amazing in the first few days to come round the corner and see less and less of the house as it was being demolished!


    1. I’ll bet the neighbours are getting a bit cheesed off with the trucks. But yeah, the well needed to be filled in because it’s too close to the foundations and 4+ metres deep! But since the trenches fill with water overnight, I’ll bet we can stick another well any-old-where otherwise and have a similar result!


  2. I had no idea you had a well, much less used it!? Sheesh! Nice water, too. A shame it had to be filled in. It’s fun to watch the site cleanup, replete with bonfire, and then the foundation taking shape. Your walk through the heath and over the bridge probably takes a while, but strikes me as nicely centering.


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