Saturday, March 14, 2015
Last week the courtyard and driveway earthworks started. Below is a photo of the driveway before the storm and before the metal was laid down...
We had diggers and trucks onsite contouring the courtyard surface and re-leveling it (the carriage house side of the site was one foot higher than the chapel side. They obviously took this into account during construction, subsequently there are an additional two blocks on the west colonnade wall than the east, or at least there were until the trucks brought in coarse metal and compacted it down with a steam roller...
Above and Below: Getting the earth level and compacted before bringing in the metal.
Above: The digger man made short work of the task. After taking some LASER levels with a theodolite he set to work and virtually free-handed the whole job based on a starting set of measurements. I didn't see him stop half way through to check. Everything just turned out perfectly.
Below: The west colonnade wall. Note the three blocks underneath the door, where on the east colonnade there is only one. This was soon remedied.
Below: Setting out the measurements for the central fountain. There is a twelve metre wide circular lawn in the centre of the courtyard, with a six metre circular fountain in the middle of it.
The dotted orange line going down the centre of the photo is the final alignment for the end of the driveway. They made the penultimate curve more acute, as well as the final reverse curve, so that the driveway hits the courtyard dead centre and perfectly perpendicularly (say that three times).
Below: The circle in the middle is the width of the lawn.
Click on the panorama below to enlarge.
Below: The metal being laid.
Above: View from first curve back towards gates.
Below: View from first curve towards second curve.
Above: View from potager entrance across second part of drive towards manor.
Below: View from courtyard back towards final curves.
Then the builders boxed up the sides of the driveway and the courtyard and started to pour the concrete for the curbing. It will have coloured cement rendered on it once it is dry, so that it matches the sandstone of the buildings.
While the diggers were on site they also dug out the garden paths for us.
Above: Plan of paths.
Below: Six foot wide paths dug out for us to line the sides with wood and back-fill with hoggin.
Below: Path as it travels past Sphinxes along the back of the formal lawn.
The Gardeners of Worcester College have created some traditional Hoggin paths, which are similar to those we are trying to create...
Other hoggin paths...