Monday, February 04, 2008

Reader pics - part 2 "Bridge, shelter, storage?

Reader Bob also writes: " found this up by Little Swartswood Lake..."(fallen in at the rear?)Any ideas?


pwax said...

Amazing bit of construction. I do not see any mortar.

Anonymous said...

Is there any mortar? The inside of the barrel vault should be checked, and also the area around this structure.


Anonymous said...

If you enlarge the interior photo by clicking on it, mortar can be easily seen on the lower half of the wall. Whether it is a lime mortar or cement/sand mix is difficult to say based on the photo. An arch of this type does not need mortar if properly built. Mortar, however, would be an effective means to waterproof the structure.

I my initial impressions are this a 19th century root cellar. Root cellars with arched roofs are rare but have been documented. The hole in the back can be a structural collapse or it may have been a loading chute (or ventilation shaft). Many root cellars required (1) exterior drainage, (2) interior drainage, (3) waterproofing, or some combination of the above to prevent excess moisture from entering the structure. the mortar would certainly serve that purpose. - This hypothesis is testable: Permanent root cellar structures were always located in close proximity to the house or barn. There should be evidence of those buildings in the form of cellar holes or above ground footing walls or chimney base.

James Gage