While Pete and I have concentrated on 'taking out the termites' and all things wooden they have gnawed, some attention to other building materials has been required. Namely bricks and stone.
About 6 months ago I was marvelling at how Greg Pennington was building his new tool shed with stone foundations and at the same time wondering if the same building technique was prevalent in Australia at some point. Short answer, Tylden certainly was built that way.
After removing all the built up top soil and concrete we are now nearly 250mm lower than the top of the concrete at the back door as seen here.
Only then could we see that the stone foundations, set with lime mortar, had been well laid and indeed rendered with lime mortar as a finished surface. Just like a good dry stone wall, they had considerable large flagstones at the base and smaller well fitted pieces as the height rose. Most of the outside perimeter stone walls were all in very good order, still sound after a good 150 years. Which says something for lime mortar….and good workmanship too.
But unfortunately a short run of stone wall on the Northern side of the kitchen which led to the original house, had succumbed to years of non-existent drainage from the roofs spouting ( gutter ) above it. Add to this the huge invasive tree roots of the Banksia tree a few metres away and it was not surprising it had crumbled.
The corner in question behind the Banksia tree.
After a look around, we arranged to collect some bricks and Ken and Travis came back on the Monday and started. Travis rebuilt the stone foundation on the North wall and Ken started to rebuild the central brick structure that held up the old iron water tank and internal kitchen wall.
In all three whole days were spent working on the tank stand wall, kitchen foundations and two kitchen chimneys. The results speak for themselves.
Travis putting the finishing touches to the new double skin chimney wall.
The old and worn out base of the second chimney.
The same chimney re finished. The fire place crane or 'swingle' even came loose after being seized.
Tank stand stripped down …..
And beautifully rebuilt.