If you can’t tie knots, tie lots
One of my current jobs is a full restoration of a barn supposedly dated around 1000 years old and is believed to be mentioned in the Domesday book.
Being the geek that I am, I bought the book translated from Latin and here is what is said,
‘Reginald holds Cornwood from the count. Eadmaer held it TR, and it paid geld for 1 hide. There is land for 5 ploughs. In demesne are 1 ½ ploughs, and 8 slaves; and 8 villans and 8 borders with 2 ploughs. There is pasture 1 league long and half a league broad, (and) woodland 2 leagues long and hard a league broad. Formerly, as now, worth 40s’.
Whether this is 100% factual or not, I like to believe that it might be and still tell the story.
Our first major task after removing all the pegged Delabole Scantle slate and laths was to dismantle the a-frames without destroying the walls. The a-frames are a couple of hundred kilos so required some thought and care.
We rigged up a lowering rope each side of the a-frame with the trusty Italian Hitch (Munter Hitch) this is a very easy to learn knot which can lock when pulled one way and lowered when pulled the other. I do believe that this is a knot that all Roofing would benefit from learning.
We tied off the frames with a Bowline, another easy to learn knot, which is a classic in the sailing or rock-climbing world for its ease of undoing after being under a heavy load or stress.
Knots are something that I use on a weekly basis at work, from tying materials to my roof rack, to securing tools in the back of the van, lowering and pulling up a Scaffolding.
Here’s my advice on the best knots to learn if you’re interested in watching a YouTube or getting a book:
• Clove Hitch
• Italian Hitch (Munter Hitch)
• Figure of Eight
• Re-threaded figure of eight
• Fisherman’s reef knot
• Mitchell or stopper knot
Once we removed over all the rafters, purlins and a-frames, we depegged the good ones to salvage for future lintels, ledges, steps etc.
The next job is to bed on all pads which are 24’x12’x3’ oak ready for the new oak a-frames.
Please do enjoy the photos of our time bringing this old barn down to the wall plate height.
A total of 3 bats were found in the ridge tiles, all of which were brown long earned bats, much more common than the rare grey long eared ones. The man holding and removing our cute friends is Olly. Olly has been an ecologist for a very long time and has worked with bats for over 20 years.
The farmhouse on this ancient farmstead has 7 varieties of bats in the building, more than Olly has ever seen or heard of in his whole career. Needless to say that great care, as always will be taken and the furry things will have a new and improved hotel once we’re done.
At Heritage Roofing Southwest, we take pride in our environmental impact at work. Some say that, not only do bats control the insect population but bats are almost as important to our survival as bees, so we always have the professionals check before we strip a roof.
Do come back in a week for an update on project, ‘Domesday Barn’!