This summer, friend of Balintore, Karel memorably named a section of an upper floor corridor "The Bridge of Terror". The floor here is temporary and was built from sterling board on top of lightweight wooden beams. It gives access to a number of rooms in the castle that were previously inaccessible, and so has been incredibly useful. The terror comes from the holes in the sterling board, which allow the tops of scaffolding poles to stick through, so the large drop into the Great Hall below is all too visible.
Visitors are spooked by the sterling board (i.e. will it take their weight?), the visible scaffolding poles (i.e. am I on scaffolding?), and of course the visible drop. The irony is that the temporary flooring is incredibly strong, resting on very solid wooden beams fixed into the building rather than resting on scaffolding, and the holes are only 6" x 6" - far to small to drop through. "Terror" is often all in the mind.
The current phase of work is sealing-up the Great Hall: not only ensuring people don't drop into it but a precursor to the restoration proper of this vast space. This entails installing new beams, floor joists and flooring into the rooms above the Great Hall.
In fact, the Bridge of Terror after 7 or so years of existence, is now no more so I took the before and after photographs recently for this blog article to form an in memoriam.
In fact the "during" picture of the Bridge of Terror is, in my opinion, even more terrifying as although we now have heavyweight floor joists in position, and some insulation, the flooring has still to be completed as finally shown in the "after" picture. The scaffolding is still there in the Great Hall underneath the floor now, providing a platform for Gregor and Glen to work from underneath in safely.
|the bridge of terror (before)|
|the bridge of terror is no more (during)|
|the bridge of terror is no more (after)|
The first of the two bedrooms (RA5 in the 2007 attic floor plans) which requires a total floor rebuild is shown here. You can see in the "before" that the remaining bits of flooring and remaining beams have been totally destroyed by dry rot. In the "during" you can see the new floor joists in position. Netting has been installed to hold underfloor insulation. In the "after" you can see that the flooring has been laid.
The netting has confused the resident pigeon "Flappy" who has been used to just flying through this floor without hinderance. Yesterday evening, Flappy was caught up in the netting, but found a way out easily enough.
|bedroom RA5 (before)|
|bedroom RA5 (during)|
|bedroom RA5 (after)|
The second of the two bedrooms (RA4 in the 2007 attic floor plans) which requires a total floor rebuild is shown here. You can see in the "before" that there is little there at all - just some lightweight temporary beams on the bottom left. In the "during" you can see the new floor joists and some new flooring. In fact, it's almost hard to appreciate that this is one and the same space. In the "after" the flooring has been completed.
|bedroom RA4 (before)|
|bedroom RA4 (during)|
|bedroom RA4 (after)|