Today Stage 2 of the renovation officially began!
This is the current view from my kitchen window onto the servants’ courtyard – not very inspiring. This was part of the service area of the house: the Edwardian cistern collecting rainwater is to the left and there would have been a pump to utilise that water for washing. There was also access to the coal store and the servants’ toilet. No verdant views of the garden for them. In Stage One we blocked up the external doorway to this courtyard and converted the original servants’ toilet into part of the breakfast room. The covered area you can see here is going to be enclosed for a new downstairs toilet (with indoor access, unlike the one we removed!). The coal store, which is on the other side of the black door, will be converted into a utility/laundry room. The courtyard will eventually be developed into a more picturesque space, perhaps with a small tree like a Japanese Maple, or a water feature or bird bath.
The coal store door was removed and the pavers and brick floor of the coal store dug out. If you look carefully you can see that each brick is stained with a few centimetres of coal dust that has filtered in deep between each brick. The smell of the coal was so strong that you could even smell it indoors.
The scene by the end of the day. Spot Oliver in the window. He was very brave today with all of the activity. In other news, some more blinds were fitted (pictures to follow) and the Edwardian leadlight window we are going to use for the new toilet was delivered.