We’re on to the footings!

conserving the footings

We began 2023 with the installation of the new roof on the cottage, protecting her from all the wild weather that’s been happening. And we are ending with an equally big job – working on the footings. This is another major stage, and after many somewhat frustrating delays, we are well on the way.

digging crew

Our team of volunteers take time from their hard work to pose for a photo.

After our successful digging party, where a team of volunteers worked hard to clear away the soil from around the footings, the builder was able to get straight to work. Following the advice of the State Heritage advisor and the Heritage architect, different approaches have been taken to the footings at the front and the back, in order to keep costs down whilst still showcasing what we can. Along the back wall of the cottage a concrete base has been laid for the footings to rest on, preserving them from water damage. The corrugated iron that was along the back wall will then be reattached. The footings along the front will be individually treated, splicing the wood into galvanized iron stirrups where necessary. Thus protected, they can remain exposed so that the posts and their weathered character can be seen, as well as the methods of construction.

taking a closer look

The builder takes a close look

Catherine visited the cottage whilst Andrew (the builder) and his assistants were working, and she told us of the care with which they treated each individual footing and downward piece of wood. They studied each one, and felt around underneath, and exclaimed with excitement at the differences they found. They are loving working on our beautiful cottage and being part of preserving the work of those who first built it.

Now we just have to pay for it! As with any historic project, the conservation requirements are revealing themselves as the work progresses. Once soil was removed and the footings could be clearly seen, we could see that the damage was greater than anticipated, requiring more painstaking work to be done. The costs are higher than expected, and in order to complete this stage of the project, we will require extra funds. We would hate to call a halt to the work, after we have all waited so long to see it happening, so we are reaching out. We understand times are hard for many people, but if you are able to, please consider donating.

footings sam 3 mr

Concrete is being laid underneath the footings along the back wall.

The cottage needs lots of support at this stage.

The cottage needs lots of support at this stage.