Well… they are more “pre-walls” than actual walls if you want to get technical, but it still counts.
We’ve been missing from site for two days at a wedding and in that time the last little bit of foundation has been dug to underpin the curved staircase, and the grey blockwork and black engineering brick “pre-wall” walls (below ground level) have almost been finished.
There’s even two tiny bits of new Real Actual Proper wall, built from our own reclaimed field bricks. I haven’t spoken to the builders yet, so I’m guessing they are test pieces to see how it looks. It looks fab.
So what are field bricks? I’m glad you asked.
The clay would have been excavated locally and the handmade bricks fired nearby in a temporary field kiln constructed for the purpose. Temperatures wouldn’t have been that high, so the resulting bricks are not as strong as modern varieties. Despite that, they seem to have done OK for the last 240 or so years…. coincidentally lasting just until the precise moment we arrived on the scene. Weeks of therapy later, I’m nearly over that now.
They are a tad feeble (ya don’t say) but thankfully the mortar on them was even more crumbly, otherwise the bricks wouldn’t have been easy to reclaim intact. They certainly wouldn’t pass today’s stringent building regulations -something to do with blah blah load bearing, crushing strength of 9 gazillion (I may be exaggerating) Newtons per square metre, which ours don’t have.
But we don’t need to care post-collapse, because now we are using them as the beautiful outer skin of our very ugly but very strong blockwork. Everybody wins.
Once upon a time when we still had a back wall, James The Site Manager was worried we’d have to pay a lot for specially shaped reclaimed bricks to replace the ones that edged the angled barn door pillars. We knew lots of these would turn out to be unsalvageable – the bottom metre or so were too water-damaged. Once the wall came down he realised they are just normal bricks that had been cut on an angle. We (by which I obviously mean they) can do that again.
More money for nice Inside Things, ta very much.
Next week: Mark The Project Manager and I “need to go shopping together” apparently. I love Mark (and all the guys) already, but any man who utters those words immediately goes up further in my estimation. He’s not even gay!
He means reclaimed bricks, not shoes, but still…… I’m going shopping!