The backparlour

Back to home page

This was probably the major, internal undertaking as the room was in a very sorry state.

The floor was rotten, the plaster on the walls was held on by the wall paper and there was penetrating damp on the west wall; the ceiling was OK!

We set about refurbishing this room over a period of about 4 years in between other tasks although completion was seriously held up by my broken hip.

More detail to follow but below is a sequence of photos of progress.

This is back parlour shortly after we took possession. The new, glazed doors propped up against the wall were to replace the existing front door, which was one of the early tasks. There was almost a two inch gap underneath the existing door, enough for the post and even a telephone directory and a wild draft when the wind blew from the east!

The room does not look too bad at first glance but note the daisies at window level; soil had accumulated up to the window ledge of the west wall that probably was not helping the penetrating damp problem.

Click on the thumbnails for a bigger picture.

2002 - Tiled fireplace removed
(James and HannaBeth)

2002 - The old window exposed

2004 - breaking into the 'alcove' that has been infilled to support the bedroom floor.


A lintel and limewash wall behind the second lot of stone infill.
Clearly a previous door opening
but why 2 doors into one room?

Opening fully exposed and
supporting blockwork to left
as the old stonework was somewhat weak.

Breakthrough - drying cupboard beyond

Now the floor. Rough joists resting on stones and infilled with peat!
Air circulation zero.

All joists exposed.

the fireplace with rather 'uncertain' lintel holding things up.

A fragment of 'sponge ware' circa 1860 found under the stonework in the fireplace

Slab cast in fireplace

Re-building the fireplace.

New lintels going in.

Concrete base for wood burner and a bit of warmth in the room. The old limewashed earth floor is still evident.

Stonework had been built to support the bedroom floor above but used a huge amount of space.

Ceiling/floor support and
blockwork going in.

Blockwork fininshed,
old door way infilled and RSJ in.


Now the east window.

Knocked through

From the outside

Found another window!

New floor going in .


The garden chair is now replaced with arm chairs and we also now have curtains!
Note the mahogany floor salvaged from Friends Meeting House, Birmingham.