Tomb Restoration 2

While the stone masons were working on the Luke vault we started the repairs on the Blamy table top tombs by the porch.  We have a retired stone mason who is advising us but it made sense to make a start while the other stone masons were there.

The first tomb contains Nicholas Blamy 6th September 1811 and his wife Sibella 18th March 1807.  The second tomb contains their son Nicholas Blamy 8th February 1796, his sister Mary Ann Behennah 28th August 1818 and brother-in-law Henry Behennah 17th March 1823.  Nicholas married Sibella Odgers in 1767 at Ruan Lanihorne and as far as I can find only had two children Nicholas and Mary Ann.  Their son Nicholas unfortunately died at the age of 23 and so the Blamy name died out in this line.  From a newspaper article in 1811 we know that Nicholas Blamy was living at Gonitor and from the tomb of Henry Behennah that he was at Gonitor in 1823.  In 1927 Mr Penter found at Gonitor the bottom of a glass bottle with the date 1745 and name N. Blamey, Ruan, whether this was the same Nicholas I have no idea but as he would have only been four, I feel that it was probably a relative.

As mentioned above with the Blamy name died out I had to search for a relative through the daughter Mary Ann Behennah, who complicated matters by only having four daughters but I was able to trace down through her daughter Elizabeth who married William Martyn, a great great great great grandson in Australia, who was delighted to give permission for work to be carried out.

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The two tombs are identical in construction.  They are rectangular in shape, each having several rows of red bricks with a similar connected course inside, a torus moulded white limestone outer border to lids with an inscribed slate inset between which sit on metal ties.

The first thing we had to do was to remove any vegetation that was growing on the tombs and it was decided to tackle Nicholas and Sibella’s tomb first as it needed less work.  After advice from the stone masons we chiselled out the old lime mortar where needed from between the bricks and cleared out earth from where there was nothing plus what seemed like an everlasting supply of snails. A couple of bricks on two of the corners had come out and these were cleaned off ready to be put back in.  The whole of the walls were then brushed off to ensure there was no loose dirt etc and we were ready to start the re-pointing and repairing.  The stone masons mixed the first batch of lime mortar for us, giving instructions on how this needed to be done and then showed us how to do the re-pointing and the tools we needed.  We started by lime mortaring back the couple of loose bricks on the corners and then started to re-point the walls.  With this finished we moved onto the second tomb.  The second tomb needed a lot more work including almost completely rebuilding one end.  We started by rebuilding the collapsed end and then carried on to chisel out the old lime mortar where needed and replace with new.  With the sides complete we tackled the top which was up and down all over the place.  Firstly we took out all the odd bits of slate that had been used to prop the mouldings up and then cleared under them to sit them flat again, with this done we pushed them back together and made them level to match the other tomb.  The final job was to lime mortar the mouldings to the base on both tombs and we were finished.

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With both tombs finished we moved onto the next tomb of Catherine Daw behind the tower.