Work has continued apace during July with the lowering of the basement floor to gain some additional headroom. The majority of the existing floor level in the basement was made of non-original layers that had been added since the building was largely rebuilt in 1843.
Remarkably, trial pits revealed that the masonry walls extended at least one metre below the 20th-century concrete floor, likely reaching back to the red brick foundations of the first building on the site, built in the 1680s. Note the vibrant red layer pictured opposite.
The floor joists to the ground floor shop are also being doubled-up for strengthening, while new masonry walls will be inserted shortly in advance of major engineering works to the side wall of the building.
Careful removal of modern 'beauty board' on the upstairs landing has revealed elegant domestic wallpaper that we believe dates to the first phase of decoration of the upper floor residence in 1843.
It consists of a four-colour print, using black, white and two shades of pink on a light grey ground. We will have the sample conserved and analysed with a view to possible reinstatement later in the project.
Have you encountered a similar print? Do get in touch on our Facebook page if you can help us with more information!