In order to install the new underfloor heating system the builders have to excavate to around half a meter or so of earth from the floor and then put in a new “Limecrete” base.
Limecrete is like concrete but is breathable. The breathability allows damp trapped in the earth underneath to escape, metaphorically “breathing” through the floor. A non-breathable concrete base would force the damp into the walls and cause considerable damage to the fabric of this historic building.
So this week the builders have brought in a mini digger and have begun removing earth. An archaeologist is on site to maintain a watching brief, in case anything of interest is uncovered.
Fortunately for us the only thing so far uncovered has been the foundation of the western wall of the original 1756/7 building before it was extended in 1839. The foundation was exactly where we had expected to find it.
There is also a curious structure below the old music group area to the right of the pulpit. There is a small “channel” with the top capped over with slabs. The archeologist has suggested that it might have been a way to get water into the building, or perhaps part of a heating system.