Cromarty East Church. SRCT.
Conservation News

07 February 2009

drawing the carved stoneHighland Archaeology Services have finished off their work inside the church, including making a detailed drawing of the Medieval carved stone found as part of the  pre-Reformation Catholic  altar kerb. Because this is such an important part of the church’s history the  kerb will remain in place. The new flooring will have to cover over the kerb, but it’s position will be marked by a wooden carving of the  stone.

 Arriving  at a final decision about  the best flooring to go under the wooden pew flooring has been a difficult decision for all those involved in the work at the church. 

In order to protect the  archaeology, and provide a stable base for the scaffolding that ischalk marks patterns on carved stone needed to reach to the ceiling heights, the  archaeology is covered first with sand, then a geotextile membrane.  On to this the soil taken out of the church during excavation is put in order to bring the floor up  to the right level for the final layer. This is a shallow concrete screed worked onto a metal grill.

chalk marking carved stone patternThis may seem contrary to the principles of the church restoration, which is to remove the concrete harl and gypsum plasterwork in order to allow the church to breathe better, but other techniques would have  damaged the valuable archaeology. The concrete will be easy to cut through if future excations take place, and will fall short of all the outer walls in order to allow damp to escape from the church.

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