All roofing and structural elements are now complete so the house is at last watertight. The top floor study and attic bedrooms have received their two coats of lime plaster, and the third is going on over the next few days. I have attached a photograph of Tennyson’s top floor study showing the laths prior to plastering. We were able to retain about 60% of the original laths in this room.
I was very interested to bear witness to the level of skill and the process involved in fitting the lead to the roofs, and I was astonished at how much lead was needed. Attached is a photograph which shows one of the men at work. The mathematical tiles on that section of wall had to be replaced as did those of the south facing wall. The original tiles had been replaced in the 1950s and fitted with a sand and cement mix, which meant that upon removal they all broke. The decorative detail over the bay windows was carved by hand, replacing the original which had long since been removed. The picture also shows one of the new lead hoppers.
Tennyson’s viewing platform is now in place and complete. I attach a photograph which shows it in context, albeit in its unfinished state. The views from it are incredible, although perhaps not as rural as in Tennyson’s day.
The last few weeks have been taken up with choosing bathroom fittings, fire surrounds and inserts. I have also spent several days in the V&A happily engrossed in their wallpaper archives, but unfortunately I was unable to find a match for any of the fragments we found in several of the principal rooms, which date between 1850s and 1870s according to Criksmith’s report. So I have accepted a quote of a company in Lincoln to have these papers recreated using blocks. For the remaining rooms I am looking to source papers of a similar style to that of the fragments found.