One might suppose to have started with a project like this, but we are closer to finishing with it. When we bought this house 3 years ago, we quickly realized that the stoned in arch should become the front door. We applied for permission to "re-open" the arch and it is now the last project on our building permit.
The arch was filled with 2 feet of stone 6 feet high and 7 feet wide, I'm figuring 7 tons, supported by the ache in my back and the sore spot on my hand from missing the chisel too many times. Strangely all the stones in the arch had been destroyed by repeated freezing, moisture settled into the stone and, over the centuries, the occasional deep freezes would split the stones into rubble which stayed intact, like so many things in medieval France, by gravity alone.
Tomorrow I will start rerouting the water main and then I can start rebuilding the doors.