Thursday, 1 August 2013

The ticking of the death watch


It's not easy to make a piece of rotten wood interesting, but perhaps we might make an exception for this ancient and venerable timber which was once part of one of the medieval beams supporting the Reading Room floor.

Regular readers and visitors will be aware that major structural works have been taking place this summer to strengthen and support these enormous old beams, and these photos give a good indication of why this work was necessary. Riddled with holes made by the enthusiastic burrowings of death watch beetle, these were certainly not going to offer much support for the readers and visitors of the future.


We are pleased to say that all of the damaged timber has now been removed and replaced by several gallons of resin which has now cured and hardened and is ready to have the oak floorboards replaced. This work should not take more than a couple of weeks and the Reading Room will soon be open for business once more, ready to support the next six hundred years-worth of visitors.