We are delighted to announce that our contractors have now been able to return to work in the church yard and yesterday began the work of finishing off laying the new paths, including the new path to the north door providing step-free access. This work will also include removing the spoil heaps that remain following the archaeological excavation last summer, and generally tidying up after the disturbances caused by the dig. It is most unfortunate that we were prevented by the poor weather last autumn from completing this work then, and then the Covid-19 lock-down stopped us beginning work again even when the weather improved. But we seem to have a fine spell in prospect now, so hopefully all the work can be completed by the end of the month, .
By the north entrance to the church yard, we have exposed an old eroded tarmac path beneath the top surface.
In taking up the last stretches of old tarmac, we have managed to salvage a fair number of bricks that can be re-used in edging the new path.
We have also made an intriguing discovery at the east entrance to the churchyard where there were what seem to be very old bricks lining the path set in the ground on end.
The exposed end of the bricks was quite weathered, but on the part that was below ground, quite a number preserve what appears to be glazing. We don’t know the source of these since they have clearly been re-used, but perhaps they come from the Archbishop’s residence, part of which we think we found in the New Churchyard near the War Memorial.
We have heavy plant in the church yard at the moment so during the day, it is necessary to close the east and north entrances. The only access to the church yard is via the west gate off Court Lodge Green (“the Bumpy Field”). Consequently there is no way through the church yard during the working day. There are barriers by the War Memorial which is the point up to which we will be laying the new hard surface. However, the north gate was left unblocked over-night as we recognise that many people do like to walk through the church yard on circular walks around the village, and there are probably more people out and about during the lock-down than normal. But while we have plant moving around in the church yard during the working day, the north gate will be closed between around 08.00 and 17.00 each day. Hopefully this will only be for a relatively short time.