Not got wood

After uncovering the window seat in what will be our new bathroom, we suspected we might find the same in Zanna’s bedroom. The house didn’t disappoint! Another old oak window seat, but with this comes another hollow wall… To be honest this is the least of our worries with this part of the wall.

This is where the foot deep buttress sits, built as we now know to shore up the ceiling AND hide the MASSIVE crack between the internal stone wall and the external wall. Also, when we took up the carpet here we could actually see down to the study window due to the MASSIVE holes in the floor!

The crack between the internal stone wall and the external wall in Zanna’s bedroom. This is the foot deep buttress built on the front of the wall!

The buttress downstairs in the study. There is a blocked up front door underneath this which we knew about as you can see it from the outside.

Within the buttress in the study there was a lovely wooden cupboard. When this was removed we discovered it was actually a bedside cabinet that they had fitted into the wall! We shall use this in one of the bedrooms, it just needs a back added to it and a bit of cleaning up.

The blocked up front door in the buttress is actually blocked up in brick from the inside (it is stone from the outside) and it has been painted.

View from study up into Zanna’s bedroom. You can see the remains of the lathes from a previous lathe and plaster ceiling.

The day for us though was all about ordering more oak for the dormer windows in the loft and finding somewhere to get this cut and planed to size. Who knew this was going to be such a difficult task. After spending the entire morning on the phone calling around all the saw mills in the area, most of them couldn’t help at all with no air dried oak, only one could cut it but not plane it, and we have been unable to get hold of our oak man as his phone has been switched off since yesterday. So during the hottest part of the day (registering 37 degrees on the car) we went to visit Doug’s yard to see if we could get all the oak we needed from him.

We took our length of skirting board with our shopping list and then proceeded to really hurt our brains with the maths, not helped by continuously jumping between imperial and metric. After about an hour in the searing sun trying to do maths, we concluded there was plenty there. We just needed to find somewhere to cut them.

On our way back we took a detour to Kineton where Dan had told us of a saw mill at the back of the industrial estate. We did find it in the end after driving up and down the country lanes, and it was like stepping back in time a century or two. The man who owns the place, Jerry Lewis (yes really), was a proper man of the woods with long hair and very few teeth. Unfortunately he couldn’t help us, but he did proceed to offer us many words of wisdom regarding oak.

We still have no oak and no way of cutting the oak that we cannot get. It’s been a frustrating day.

Ending on a plus, Tom has completed the doorway that collapsed yesterday, tied in the two buildings and fitted a new old oak lintel using a piece of oak from his house. Tom said it had been sitting around for a while and he didn’t know what to do with it, it was just the right size for this lintel, so it has been donated to the cause! Wall and doorway are looking amazing, you wouldn’t even know this has practically been rebuilt, and done in less than a day!


  1. I wonder if those buttresses have actually been contributing to pushing the walls out!!! Also in all this dry weather the clay underneath has probably contracted quite a lot, making everything worse. Old buildings like to expand and contract.

    1. The buttresses are now so far away from the walls though! The buttresses, being stronger than the walls, have stayed where they are, whilst the walls continued to move. We actually believe that the buttresses were installed to keep the ceilings up, not the walls in, they are not tied into the walls…!

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