earlier trench investigations, Caroline Atkins has been completing
the archaeology survey, which is a Planning requirement. Caroline
has meticulously recorded the significant historical features.
David Lee Photography Ltd undertook a complete photographic
survey and additional photographs will be taken as work progresses.
Caroline will monitor the contractor’s works as part
of a watching brief and will be able to record any new findings
as they are uncovered.
has spent a great deal of time investigating how the
Wilderspin gallery might have been constructed. By
removing parts of the wall plaster she has uncovered fixing
holes and paint evidence to
suggest the exact dimensions and structure of the gallery,
confirming earlier conjecture of Keith Miller and
number of doors have survived which can be reused. The door
screens, shown here, and the classroom folding doors will also
French based on the school log books and preliminary measurements.A
new find is a blocked-up window, previously unrecorded, under
the gallery. It must have provided light beneath it when
it was used for coal storage and as a cloakroom. Evidence for
the coat rails
has also been found. This information will help re-create exactly
the appearance of the Wilderspin Infant Schoolroom as it
was in 1844/45.Extensive
areas of wall and ceiling plaster have been earmarked for retention.
Some areas of tiled flooring will be conserved. Doors
and other woodwork have been kept, catalogued and put to one
for reuse or to use as patterns for making replicas.
Archaeological investigation is revealing the
precise way Wilderspin's gallery must have been fitted in the
floors are lifted we hope to find additional evidence of the
playground and, internally, the Wilderspin teaching posts around
which small groups of children would be taught. A limited look
above the ceiling of the ground floor of the former Master’s
house suggests we may be in for further exciting discoveries.
The bedroom layout, patches of wallpaper and the fireplace
can just be seen. As soon as possible, Caroline will investigate
to what extent details of the original (1844) layout, fixtures,
fittings and decorative treatments have survived the remodelling
of the Master’s House in 1879 when it was converted into
a ground floor classroom. The first floor will be reinstated
to create a plant room and archive space.
analysis was undertaken by Lisa Oestreicher, Architectural Paint
Analyst, to uncover evidence of the School’s decorative
changes. Lisa’s report will guide restoration design of
the principal historic rooms. Following the 1950s the building
appears to have been painted no more than twice, compared to
having been painted thirty four times in its first one hundred
year history – or approximately every three years, reflecting
changes in paint quality as much as maintenance budgets.