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32 Friarn Street Bridgwater Somerset TA6 3LH

An Ancient House

A ground-floor wall

wall1.jpg - 36Kb

The age of the wall is uncertain. It is not as old as the stone wall to which it abuts, or as old as the principal elm beam above, or the principal post to its left, which is of adzed elm. It is not connected at either end. It is capped by a single span of elm, approximately 4" x 4". It may be contemporary with other dividing walls, thought to have been put in place after circa 1680. It is constructed with pit-sawn elm posts and horizontal dividing members, seemingly unjointed. There are six bricks per course. The top panel is 5 bricks high, the next 7, the next 9.

rot.jpg - 40Kb
The whole wall rests on a piece of 2" x 4" elm, entirely decomposed and wet throughout its length as shown just below the brick course. The timber rests imperfectly on thick slate slips. It is thought that the raising and concreting of the kitchen floor may have accelerated the wet rot. It is proposed to insert a damp-proof membrane a section at a time, and replace the timber at this level with brick.
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1 March 2001