The installation of a crane at the corner of the cloister has enabled work to begin on the transept; They began by preparing the site area; And despite the summer vacations, the crane has been busy!
The first step was to remove the lapidary stored on the transept floor; As the work progressed, the community recovered many historically interesting stones; Many are column bases from the former medieval cloister; These stones were located along the walls of the transept, in full view of visitors; So they had to be moved; The crane was an invaluable tool for evacuating them easily; They are now stored in such a way that the elements damage them as little as possible;
The next step is to prepare the floor: it must be aligned with the final target level, taking into account the networks, the slab and the covering; First, the gravel covering the ground is removed; Then the backfill, laid in the 1950s as part of preventive solidification work, was lowered to the desired height; Once again, the crane makes all the difference; It brought a mini-excavator, an efficient tool in the hands of RBMH workers, through the air and into the transept; The evacuation of gravel and rubble, always by air, offers an unexpected spectacle to visitors to the abbey;
Preparation also involves setting up scaffolding! For the moment, the structure has only been erected on the outside of the transept; The metal bars then rise up along the cloister, giving it an iron-cage appearance, more than two years after the bell tower was completed; But the bases are now accessible; We can check their condition and start the masonry work;
In August, however, the masons take a well-deserved vacation; The transept will now be able to take a breather between this preparation phase and the long work ahead!