Our stone masons have carefully numbered, plotted the position of and lifted every black and white stone slab from the floor in the Central Hall. This had to be done because the slabs were unstable and loose, so every time they were walked upon, there was very real risk of them moving against each other and chipping the edges. They were loose, of course because of the disastrous fire of 1822 which left the Central Hall roofles and open to the elements for 40 years. So in a sense we are continuing the work of John Dobson, the famous 19th century architect, who, in the 1860’s, re-roofed and stabilised the building.
Once lifted, all the numerous cracked and shattered slabs have been painstakingly bonded together again using resin adhesives mixed with pigment and stainless steel dowels have been added to give them strength. The original three layers of screed have been replaced where they had been weathered to nothing, and the floor re-laid, with each slab returned to its original position. the final work is replacing those that were too badly damaged to be re-used. With due consideration, small samples were compared with the originals and whilst allowing for several hundred years of wear and dirt, not too mention the variety of effects produced by the fire, we have at last found Carrera Marble and black limestone that seems to match the originals closely.