When we were investigating the old lime plaster in the main bedroom, we discovered the old beams over the top of one of the windows. Or, what little remained of them.

We used a vacuum cleaner to get out most of what remained of the wood — turned to a fine red dust — and then pulled out a log riddled with holes like mesh and completely hollowed out.

For 250 years or so it seems the worms have had a feast.

Sam and John were quick to put in props. And we hurried to get three 5ft lengths of 6″ x 6″ oak, air-dried for five years from oakbeamuk.com, at Ermin Farm outside of Cirencester.

A day later the three beams, with sanded faces, were in place and fixed. They look good.

Next is to replace the lime plaster, and do something interesting with what remains of a log beam (below) that was heaved into place sometime before the founding of the USA.