As restoration continues in the Brugos of Castelo de Vide on Rua de Forno every attempt has been made to preserve the original building and reuse building materials. Since the age of this structure has been estimated at mid 12th century we anticipated unknown structural issues to arise.
After removal of all the plaster from the interior and exterior rock walls, over 3 ft thick, we found they were simply stacks of rocks without mortar. The contractor quickly reinforced the stones with a special epoxy to ensure the safety of his crew and to stabilize the structure. Despite his efforts a few modifications have been made to the stone structure. All the rocks, wood and tiles that can be reused are stacked in the garden.
The mystery mound on the side of the house was discovered to be a pile of rocks. We wanted to maintain the mound and expose the stones, however the stability of the rocks became an issue. In an attempt to fix or secure the top layer of stones, they all came tumbling down. Sometimes decisions on what to do about a problem just presents itself. The contractor rebuilt this portion of the wall leaving a beautiful exposed wall.
We also lost the wonderful fireplace, which had ben built without a foundation. The whole thing could have come crashing down on the inhabitants, luckily it did not. There was no way with the new layout to secure the weight of the chimney so it had to be removed. We will add a fireplace back into the structure on the top floor as before, just slightly to the right of the original above an existing structural wall.
As there a plenty of rocks left over from the removal of the shed and the mystery mound we will increase the height and improve the garden walls. We can also create rock steps and landscaping features.
Next spring we will begin the garden project. The landscaping and plantings will need to be adapted to this climate. Castelo de Vide is known for its flower lined streets. Rua de Forno has won a village award for the beautiful flowers. Our elderly neighbor is anxious to tend our flowers around the front door again, it will be a month or so before that is possible.