On the level

The re-laying as seen through the plastic-covered observation window.
Re-laying the memorial slabs.
Re-laying the memorial slabs.

Popped into Bath Abbey to see how things are getting on with re-laying the ledger stones on the north side of the nave where Emerys of Bath – the local builders – have been busy excavating and then filling voids under the floor before  installing new under-floor heating and making  good the levels.

As l hope you can see it is a delicate and somewhat precision-edged task to put these heavy slabs back in place.

A lifting frame is being used to hoist and lower the slabs into place. This was taken through the plastic-covered observation window.
A lifting frame is being used to hoist and lower the slabs into place. This was taken through the plastic-covered observation window.

This process is going to be repeated across the whole Abbey floor – if the church is successful in its application for a hefty Heritage Lottery Fund grant. They will not know the outcome of that before April next year.

The work is necessary because ‘voids’ have been detected across other areas of flooring in this Tudor-built church and could cause subsidence if not filled. Over the centuries around six thousand people have been laid to rest under it.

If successful with its grant application the work would also enable all the church’s underfloor heating system to be replaced and the city’s thermal springs used to provide the hot water flowing through it.