Underpinning the old Court House

One of the most important aspects of the Court House renovation is the installation of a new lift that will for the first time reach the basement which will allow wheelchair access to the Yeomanry museum. In order to excavate the lift shaft the whole rear of the building is being gradually underpinned …….. by the looks of the foundations this seems to be a very good thing for the long term future of the Court House!

Watching the progress of the excavation and underpinning process is proving quite fascinating to me as layer after layer of the buildings history are exposed and new solid supports put in place. This picture shows the fist complete support from the outside:

At a right angle to this support, inside the building, another support has been put in place in two separate parts:

As the lift void has been further excavated the old rear wall of the building, before it was extended in 1857-8 has been exposed. It seems that very little was done in the way of tieing the extension to the old building making the process of digging the lift shaft and creating access in the basement very tricky indeed! It soon becomes apparent watching a process like this where all the money goes! Here’s a fascinating view of the old rear wall:

And finally here’s one of our builders raking the concrete down a shute which is directing the concrete to form a support in front of this old rear wall so that an opening into the basement can be made to allow access to our new lift: