Friday, October 23, 2009

Conversion of the Old Barn

We have started clearing out the old barn so that we can have six indoor stables. The roof has to held up with acro-props as the telegraph poles are in the wrong place for the stables and will have to be moved into a new positions.
At the moment we are busy clearing years of muck and dirt from the floor before we can lay concrete.

The Last Section of the Wall

The last section of the wall which is alongside the barn is almost complete and we hope that all it will be completed by Christmas.
The newly seeded grass is beginning to grow and it has been helped by the warm autumn and showers, although today (23/10) was the heaviest rain we have had since the beginning of September.
I have mixed wild flower seed with the grass seed so I hope we have a good mixture of flowers next spring.

Outside of the Wall

At the end of June Russell our stone mason started working on the outside of the wall which has been going up a lot quicker than the inside despite the inclement weather this summer.
Steps will be built from the door which we hope will complete the design. We had to angle the corner of the wall due to the stream being so close.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Walled Garden Finished Inside

The walled garden has been completed in stone on the inside, which now leaves Russell to spend the summer working on the outside of the wall. He is working on the stream side first as this is the most difficult as we have had several weeks with dry weather and the ground is firm enough for him to bring his tractor and trailer to the edge of the stream. He is working just behind the door in the corner of the new wall which you can see in the photo. The drains have been laid and the area has been covered with small stones ready for the membrane which will be laid all over the riding arena before the sand. The surface material has been ordered and is due to be delivered at the end of June. We have bought our surface from Martin Collins who is well known for his products and we have chosen Activ-Track which is a sand and wax mix.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Progress on the Walled Garden

Work on the arena within the walled garden has gone well during March and April because of the long dry spell. Russell has completed the corner of the wall where there is to be a door with steps on the outside which lead down to the stream. Russell is now working on the last corner on the inside of the wall. We can then start the ground work for the outdoor menage. Half of the drains have been laid so hopefully if we have any major downpours the inside of the walled should now no longer resemble a pond! There will not be enough stone from the demolition of the original wall to complete the ourside, but fortunately we have located a fallen down stone building at a local farm and the farmer has agreed to sell us some stone.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

New Garage awaits its Roof

The garage is almost complete, just needs its roof!

New Garage

This March the new garage was built behind the old dog kennel. It has been built by Charley Brentnall and his team from Wiltshire. Charley worked on the restoration of Shackelton's hut at the Antartic and was also involved in the restoration of Windsor Castle after its fire. The oak for the beams has been sourced from the Badminton Estate and the Larch and Douglas fir has come from the Winchcombe Estate in Gloucestershire. The roof on garage will have old slates to match the other buildings. We have also come to an agreement with the Electricty company for all the telegraphs poles to be removed and the electricity to go underground, so we don't have to look at all the ugly poles and wires draped across the courtyard. Charley will be returning later in the year to take measurements in the medieval barn which has to have new oak roof trusses to replace the steel RSJs which were put in after its fire and is part of an agreement we have with the Exmoor National Park for its restoration.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

New Roof for the Goats and Ducks

Last summer the back section of the roof on the dog kennel and goat and duck house had its slates replaced and we have now finally started on the front half. Several slates had slipped down after the snow and rain was starting to pour in. New felt and battons have been put on the roof and most of the old slates are being put back and hopefully it will be complete before it starts raining.
At the back of the building which used to be an old pig sty there is a small door which we are going to open up door so that the goats can go out and then cross over the stream. We are going to put a railway sleeper over the stream so the goats can cross over into a small paddock.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Snowy Start to the Year

We have had a quiet January with Russell still building the wall and it is beginning to look quite impressive. However, because of the heavy frosts in January he has had some problems with the pointing reacting to the frosts and this has caused some damage which may mean he has to point sections of the wall all over again. The planning permission for the three bay garage which is to be sited behind the dog kennel was given at the beginning of January and so far the footing has been put it in, but again the frosts have stopped the brickwork being completed. The timber frame for the garage is due to arrive at the end of February so I hope Spring comes soon and this wintery weather goes away.

While the whole of the country was being engulfed with snow I thought we were going to get away with it, but overnight on 6th February we had about six inches of snow fall starting at midnight. We awoke to deep snow on the Friday morning. The ducks were not impressed with their pond having a deep layer of snow lying on top of it, so they stayed at the shallow end where the stream trickles through the wall from the courtyard to Derek's garden. The goats decided to stay in for the day but the horses wanted to go out. Moo decided to roll and roll and thoroughly enjoyed the snow. Enzo's little legs were lost in the snow and he struggled to walk as it was nearly up to his belly. Surprisingly Mim who has never seen snow wasn't interested.

Rob decided the best mode of transport to the village shop was the Kawasaki Mule. Although the drive was a cold as it has no roof or windscreen and he said the snow hitting you on the face as you drove along hurt and he should have worn his ski goggles. Derek cleared the snow around the stables and the barn with his JCB so we didn't have to struggle through the snow.