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The 19th century stable yard

The 19th century stable yard
NTPL Zoƫ Colbeck

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Where there's a wall...

Work started last week to lift the floors inside the western part of the stable yard building in preparation for laying insulation and installing underfloor heating.

The floor was tiled with pavers which have to be lifted carefully, as we want to reuse as many of these as possible. The pavers would have originally been laid on a bed of sand or similar but at some point in the past they were set into a thick layer (30cm) of concrete. This has made it a lot harder to lift and clean the pavers and although some of the concrete has chipped off quite well, others are too badly damaged to be able to reuse.

Museum of London Archaeology are carrying out a watching brief on the project and one of their archaeologists has been on site to record anything of interest. So far the builders have uncovered the foundations of a brick garden wall and what appear to have been garden outbuildings running through the middle of the rooms on the western side of the stable yard. The different thickness of the bricks indicate that some parts of the garden wall date from the 17th century, while other parts were rebuilt or the wall extended in the 18th century.

The finds are not unexpected, as the walls appear on the 1868/9 Ordnance Survey map of the park, but it's interesting to be able to see on the ground how the estate developed over the years.

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