it wasn’t until i had removed the vast majority of the main building that i could see the extent of the problem that lay ahead. the centre section of the back wall was built up over the existing rock face, which projected out over a meter toward the front of the building. you couldn’t see this until a large area of stone work that sat at the base had been removed, this effectively had been acting as a buttress.
looking at the extent to which it ran, it didn’t appear that it would be possible to remove and rebuild just that section without undermining the rest of the wall, so i decided, instead of leaving in the back wall, to remove it.
from this point it was possible to see more clearly the extent of the ground work necessary to clear the over-site and dig out where necessary for the foundations.
way back near the beginning of site clearance i was hoping to get away without having to run in a concrete foundation. i was hoping that there would be sufficient bed rock to toe into to act as a foundation, or to be able to dig out trenches and fill with crushed stone, as i had done with the terrace wall. however site conditions wouldn’t allow for either option. because of the nature of how slate is formed i had every aspect of the process running across the site where the foundations needed to be. in one place it was soil mixed with rock, in another mud, in another slate, next to that mudstone, then rock so hard it must have been gneiss, then slate. it all ran in seams, but not evenly at the same elevation across the site, more rippling in and out like raspberry ripple icecream. (oh god if only there was such a thing here). that left very little alternative but to excavate each run on a very individual basis. remember all this was done by hand, good old pick and shovel work a lot of the time, the breaker when i needed it, and a lot of wheelbarrowing, no mini digger, no skips, no grab lorry.
just clearing the over-site i estimated i removed 30 cubic meters of rock rubble and earth.