Winding down for Xmas

Today it rained and rained and rained so Tom and George arrived and left soon after, although George did brush down the mortar that wasn’t too wet before he went. George will be back tomorrow morning to do the same.

Another cracking photo of Cat (sorry). She has tackled the kitchen and I wish I had a before photo as the kitchen was utterly disgusting, even the walls had mould growing up them…

Bleach has been used. It needed to be.

Our lovely oak worktop and butler sink have really suffered. They were covered in thick orange dust and bacon fat and floor cleaning acid and coffee and tea and mud and god only knows what else… This window and wall was also splattered in orange stained water where the old plumber exploded water out of the tap (from the rusty old pipes).

Cat has started to oil the window in the sitting room and is enhancing the beautiful grain and the warm, rich colours of the elm.

Christmas Eve morning and it’s dry but freezing cold. George spends a couple of hours knocking back the lime mortar in the wall.

This is the first time we have seen the garden steps and are delighted with how they look!

The bull nose edges of the York stone is perfectly suited to the steps.

It is zero degrees this morning with a heavy frost so George is wrapped up well. Tom has built this wall to match the walls of the house and it looks perfect. Amazing to think all this was built from the left over stone that made up our stone mountain.

Cat has moved on to the door between the dining room and the sitting room. She has removed the last of the stubborn paint from the door frame, sanded it and cleaned it up before oiling the frame and the door.

This has always been one of our favourite doors in the house. It was painted in white gloss paint and the frame painted black, but you could see the huge wide planks cut at an amazing angle.

Ooo the colours!

We are so pleased with this window. It just needs the new oak window seat fitted and the shutters cleaned up and put back on. With the amount of time that has gone into this window, you can understand why many historic windows get replaced rather than renovated…

The leaded lights got removed and renovated by Lee Boswell, then fitted back in with new putty. The metal opener was soda blasted by Dave at Ecojet, had the putty replaced and then was cleaned up and painted on the inside, sealed on the outside by Cat. The oak window frame was stripped by Cat (which took days) then repaired by Glynn with new oak shaped and spliced into the old. Dan replaced the sill with an old oak floorboard, repaired and strengthened the old elm sides and back of the seat (by adding a stud frame behind to support it) and built a new seat out of the oak bought from Doug Hutsby and added an oak post (left over from the dormer windows) to support the seat. Tom built a stone frame around the bottom of the seat so the new supporting oak post had something to sit on and built a stone wall underneath it which will be visible under the seat (this was covered up before). Finally the original wooden shutters are being cleaned up by Cat and have been repaired and fitted back in place by Glynn.

Phew! That’s many, many hours amounting to around a couple of grand just for this one window and we have renovated 9 windows in total. This is one of the (many) reasons we have gone dramatically over our original budget. Happy f***ing Christmas! Tomorrow we both have a well needed day off.


  1. All hail dear cousins. I can put you on my Christmas card list now that I have found you. Just send the details. I will be catching up. I’ve been hooked on Grand Designs for years and now it is going on in the family. A Happy, healthy and productive New Year!

    1. Happy New Year David! Lovely to hear from you, it’s been a few years! Delighted that you are interested in our restoration project, it has been EPIC but we are very nearly there. What should have been 3 months at the most has turned into 7 and counting… Will private message you our details 🙂 xx

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