Please see below for the latest information regarding the Refurbishment of St. Mary's Church.
In the previous Newsletter we reported that skeletons had been found in two graves during the excavation of the nave floor. The archaeologist believes that the skeletons are late 18th or early 19th century. It was decided to leave the skeletons in situ. Consequently the graves have been re-sealed and protected from the current development of the nave.
Excavation of the Nave Floor
The nave floor has been excavated to a depth of two feet. This also exposed the work done by the Victorians when they replaced four of the columns. A structural engineer examined the work and advised additional reinforcing around the base of the columns – this has been done. A heavy–duty membrane was laid over the exposed clay. This was then covered with reinforced concrete and 85mm (approx 3.5 inches) of insulation board. An additional membrane was laid over the boards.
A dais has been constructed under the tower.
Continuous piping for the under floor heating has been installed, and also ducting for the new power and lighting system. The piping and ducting will be covered by screed in preparation for laying down the new floor.
The installation of the new lighting system in the upper part of the chancel should take place between September and October so as not to disturb the bats.
The Architect and three members of the refurbishment project team visited the Lovell Purbeck quarries, near Corfe Castle, on Wednesday 8th September. They were given an instructive tour around one of the quarries and shown a typical vein of Purbeck stone – the material chosen for St. Mary’s floor tiles. They were shown how the excavated boulders for St. Mary’s were cut down into manageable sizes and then sawn down into stone slices with the required tile thickness using a large diamond tipped power machine saw. The stone slices were cut into standard tile widths and lengths before being accurately ground down to the final thickness using a computer controlled power machine. Finally the completed tiles were washed and brushed clean of all dust.
The new floor tiles should be delivered to St. Mary’s within two to three weeks.
Revd. Paul Ginever
9th September 2010