I've now started to clear the rubble from below the gables so that we can get a scaffold tower up and the render removed from the tops of the gables on the North and South walls.
We have already noticed a big difference inside the house with less (or even no) condensation in the places where we used to find it - so the walls have already started to dry out and warm up since the render was removed. The brickwork and mortar, although in a poor state in places, has dried out tremendously over the winter and the walls are starting to breathe again.
Even parts of the walls where the bricks and mortar are in a real state have dried out very well. The wall in the photo below was one of the wettest spots and is now completely dry, despite being south facing and open to all the winter rains and gales.
Although I have taken a rest from render removal over the past few months I've not been completely idle. This winter we have created and planted a fruit garden in a small paddock where we previously grazed our miniature Shetland pony Herbie. He has now moved to new accomodation and the veg and fruit garden has been developed where he once munched the grass. Hopefully all those poos will have increased the soil fertility too!
This was the paddock being levelled in October 2012 in preparation for creation of the fruit garden.
And this was the start of the fruit garden on January 4th 2013 - putting in the supporting poles and wires to espalier and fan train the apples, pears, plums and cherries as well as a bed of raspberries and some blackcurrants and gooseberries.
And finally on March 16th the finished article, complete with traditional hedge, expertly layed by Ben Booth-Jones from www.wood-matters.co.uk
Watch this space, I'll be starting to update the Blog again as work starts to get the scaffold up and the rest of the render removed.