Our first job was to repair a section of slate steps. There are several sections of similar steps scattered around the woods at Allan Bank but over the years they have all fallen badly into disrepair.
Steps in need of repair
Firstly we removed most of the moss from the steps and photographed them for our records. With this done it was time to take them apart.
Stripping the steps down
Once the steps had been dismantled we began to re-assemble them but this time we used cement between the courses so there would be no risk of the steps coming loose. For their intended purpose they would have been fine without the cement (although we did find a few patches of mortar when we took them apart) as few people would have ever walked up them. With the gardens soon to be opened to the public it is important for them to be much more durable.
Battling on through the snow
After just over a weeks work the new steps were all finished and ready to be used.
The completed steps
To improve the bit of path leading to the steps we rebuilt a couple of sections of retaining wall (revetment) which is there to stop the path from falling away as it is built across a slope. There was an old retaining wall, but little of it remained so it was a case of stripping down what was left of the old wall and rebuilding it more or less from scratch.
Retaining wall during construction
Once the wall was finished we topped it with some slates, to tie it in it's appearance with that of the steps, and put down a layer of gravel to improve the surface.
Finished wall with the gravel in place
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