Mending the cracks in our history.

Phase One of Bath Abbey’s multi-million-pound Footprint Project has involved the lifting of several hundred memorial stones from the floor around the East end window.

The memorial stones awaiting repair lie wrapped and stacked against the north east wall of Bath Abbey.

The city’s parish church is unique is being able to boast a total of 891 such objects – more than any other floor in the country.

Another hoarding illustration shows stones being recorded and repaired. Don’t actually think they would let a worker carry a piece of stone quite like that. Must be heavy!

Over the next two years they will all have to come up as local contractors Emery Brothers get down to stabilising the floor and laying underfloor heating – using the heat energy from Bath’s thermal springs.

The hoarding around Bath Abbey shows how the underfloor heating will be installed – before the stones are relaid. The floor will be lifted and repaired – section by section – over the next two years.

Many of the stones are damaged and will need repair – and some restoration – before they are eventually re-laid. That’s where the experts from Sally Strachey Conservation – based at Wells in Somerset – come into play.

The area alongside Bath Abbey in which SSH Conservation will be working over the next two years.
Lee Hargreaves – on the left – helping Sam Clayson adjust the newly-aligned broken pieces of a memorial stone.

I caught up with Site Manager, Sam Clayson for a chat. He and his colleague, Lee Hargreaves, have quite a job in front of them over the next 24 months.

Screen Shot 2018-09-06 at 12.13.03
Some lucky people will be able to look behind the scenes on the Footprint Project over three days next week as part of Heritage Open Days. However, the Abbey website points out the tours are fully booked but there is hope of more to come next month!